President Museveni has said the problem of petrol and diesel products has no immediate local solution until Uganda starts producing her own oil.
“This leaves the problem of petrol and diesel, products for which we do not have an easy local replacement until our own oil comes on stream in, 2025 with first production and the refinery expected in 2026 and we refine some of it for the final products,” he said on Sunday while addressing the nation on the economic situation.
He said even before the War in Ukraine, the price of fuel was going up, on account of the worry by the fossil fuels producers of the global movement for clean energy (solar, wind, nuclear, geo-thermal, hydro-power, hydrogen, etc.).
“On account of that fear, the petroleum companies were, apparently, no longer exploring for new reserves. Yet, the new clean energies, would take time to be available. The Russian-Ukrainian war, has made it worse.”
Just before the Ukrainian war, the price of crude was USD 80 per barrel. It is now USD 114 per barrel. Therefore, Museveni said, the Ukrainian war, has added another USD 34 per barrel.
“Of course, this is an artificial addition caused by the countries of the Global North (the Bazungu) mishandling their bilateral relations and also mishandling global affairs as well.”
Museveni said he is quietly engaging these actors to see how these actors can remove this artificial burden from the World.
“Nevertheless, this artificial distortion, should not divert us from our long-distance journey of achieving social-economic transformation because that is the only way of not only increasing our affluence but also immunizing ourselves against the mistakes of others.”
He said if it was not for the endless obstructions to government programmes, eg. The Palm Oil project in Buvuma, Sango Bay – Uganda would even be much better off.
“With our coming Oil, Uganda will be immune to the external disruptions. Working with our African brothers, Uganda and Africa will be prosperous irrespective of the actions of the mistake makers, short of using nuclear weapons among themselves which may affect the whole World. Let us, therefore, not be diverted.”
“When we succeed here, we shall remain with original reason of the fossil fuels being worried about the clean energy sources. That will be much better than where we are now. It is important for Ugandans to know that even when we get our own petroleum, we cannot sell it below the World prices minus transport costs.”
He said Uganda is self-sufficient in food (maize, bananas, cassava, milk, beef, Irish potatoes, beans, peas, fruits, etc.).
This is one of the most important factors for survival in times of peril like these, Museveni pointed out.
“We have good infrastructure; we have a strong Army for guaranteeing peace and we are beginning to pay our scientists well. Nothing can stop us from growing if we work with our African brothers and sisters and other people of good will.”
In his opinion, Museveni said the only really serious vulnerabilities for Uganda, are two: continuing to depend so much on rain-fed agriculture and the damage to the incomparably good environment by encroaching on the wetlands (ebisharara, ebitoogo), Lake Shores (emyegyeego), river banks (enkuungu), forests and steep gradient mountain cliffs (ensa).
The president said he has agreed with both the Ministries of Agriculture on enhanced irrigation and with the Ministry of Environment on restoring wetlands by promoting fish-farming on the edges (emiiga) instead of drying them with swamp rice growing, restoring the forests, etc.
“We should even agree with the Coastal Countries (Kenya and Tanzania) on, possibly, using nuclear energy to desalinate sea-water as an insurance in the face of the erraticness of the rain caused by the sabotage by the mistakes of global mistake-makers.”
“In conclusion, I repeat that the only, really, serious dangers to our future are: reliance on only rain-fed agriculture; damage to our environment; and a nuclear-war among the mistake-makers.”