Lawmakers passed legislation on Friday intended to regulate Uganda’s nascent oil industry, but critics say it gives too much authority over the industry to the nation’s energy minister.
The legislation, which has been debated for more than a year, is meant to pave the way for oil production in Uganda.
But Global Witness, a group that highlights the links between the exploitation of natural resources and human rights abuses, said that the new legislation would give the president and his energy minister “total control over the sector” and warned that it would “perpetuate the status quo of secrecy, excessive ministerial control and corruption allegations.”
Uganda is estimated to have enough oil reserves to become a middle-tier oil-producing nation. But its oil industry has been plagued by accusations of corruption and court cases that have delayed the start of production. Pumping is now expected to begin in 2014, industry officials say.
Source: The New York Times