Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service providers (AUOGS)
The association was launched in early 2012 with a strong focus on advocacy for a fair share and local participation in the country’s oil and gas industry. It brings together locally incorporated companies with the main objective of lobbying for and promoting the participation of Ugandan individuals and bodies corporate in the provision of services to the oil and gas sector.
AUOGS faults international oil companies for what it sees as multiple unfair practices. It cites delayed contract payments, a tendency to award high value contracts to foreign companies, the practice of expecting companies to keep working beyond the expiry of a contract without any intention to renew, and frustrating companies’ efforts to form joint ventures through strategic partnerships.
The association offers advice to the Government of Uganda on matters pertaining to the oil industry, and conducts and commissions research studies in the oil and gas sector with a view to improving service delivery.
It also promotes the formation of locally-owned corporations and joint ventures to provide services in the sector, and seeks to empower, sensitize and ensure the active involvement of the local communities in the oil producing areas, while also promoting skills’ transfer to those communities.
The association complains that, although work has been going on in the sector for several years, there seems to have been little or no tangible benefit to the local population, and services such as gardening, catering and motor vehicle franchise have all been tendered to foreign companies.
Against this background, the association has encouraged the enactment of The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2012 which includes a clause on local content calling for the utilization of local human and material resources in the oil and gas sector. This law is seen as a measure that could compel the big companies to buy in services from local companies.
The Bill also demands that where there is limited capacity of Ugandan companies, Ugandan companies shall be encouraged to enter into joint ventures with foreign companies to provide needed goods and services.
Currently, the association has some seven companies under its umbrella and its membership is open to any company with interest in offering support services to the oil companies now operating in the Albertine Graben. Membership is also open to Ugandan individuals who subscribe to the objectives of the association. Associate membership is open to individuals and corporate bodies who, although not indigenous Ugandans, subscribe to the objectives of the Associations.
Corporate members include:
EAGLE AIR—which provides scheduled flights and charter services across East and Central Africa.
RICHFLO LIFT SERVICES LTD—which deals in motor vehicle hire, transportation and material handling equipment.
BEMUGA FORWARDERS LTD—which handles clearing and forwarding services within and outside Uganda.
THREEWAYS SHIPPING SERVICES LTD—a freight transport and logistics company.
QUANTUM ASSOCIATES LTD—a warehousing, logistics and trade company.
ECO SOL—a start-up company providing environmental services.
Report by Allan Ssempebwa