President Uhuru Kenyatta over the weekend announced that the production of oil from the Turkana oilfields will start without any hindrance after an agreement was reached on the sharing of revenue.
The President, said the revenue from oil will be shared on the basis of 75 percent for all Kenyans through the National Government, 20 percent to the county government and five percent will go to the local community.
The Head of State spoke after a deal was struck on the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill specifically as regards to provisions for revenue sharing.
“We now have an understanding that can put Kenya on the map of oil exporting countries. We will intensify our exploration efforts not just in Turkana but in the rest of the country now that we have a legal instrument that can help guide how oil and gas will be handled in our republic,” said the President at State House, Nairobi.
The President was joined by Deputy President William Ruto and leaders from Turkana led by Governor Josphat Nanok.
President Kenyatta thanked Governor Nanok and the other leaders from Turkana for their initiative to find a quick resolution of the outstanding issues.
The governor said the leadership and the people of Turkana are now fully in support of the exploration and production of oil after the disagreements were resolved.
He said the Council of Governors, which he chairs, is also satisfied in how the issue was resolved.
“The impediment that the Turkana people were concerned with and even the council of Governors raised in its petition to Parliament has now been discussed and resolved,” said the governor.
He said the leadership from Turkana will support the fast-tracking of the transportation of oil by road as well as the construction of the oil pipeline to Lamu Port.
Relatedly in Uganda, President Museveni recently challenged Western companies to take interest in helping Africa explore its resources potential, saying the continent presented immense business opportunities.
“There is a lot of sleeping in Africa. You find people who should know but instead don’t know,” said the President. “And also there has been sleeping in the West, they don’t care about what potential is in Africa.”
The President made the remarks at State House Entebbe as he witnessed the signing of the Project Framework Agreement between the government and the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC).
The agreement will ensure development, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the oil refinery in Hoima District.
President Museveni said unlike China which seems to understand Africa’s potential and has been active in doing business with Africa, Western companies have been reluctant in taking up projects and investing in the continent.
“Africa is going to be a huge power house in terms of business,” said the President, who noted that African leaders and the NRM government in particular have resolved some of the obstacles to doing business like fragmented markets and confiscation of private companies by past regimes.
While congratulating the parties to the agreement, President Museveni said the composition of the AGRC showed that Western companies were also waking up to realise Africa’s potential.
Besides all these sentiments, no one knows when Ugandans shall begin benefiting from the oil that has become a song for the last five years.