Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) is seeking Shs2.5bn to provide security to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline, also known as the Uganda–Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline, is a 1,443 km crude oil pipeline in planning since 2013, with a foundation stone nominally under construction since 2017 and intended to transport crude oil from Uganda’s Tilenga and Kingfisher oil fields to the Port of Tanga, Tanzania on the Indian Ocean.
Uganda wants to develop its oilfields under the two projects Tilenga, operated by TotalEnergies, and Kingfisher by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
“You know the security of our oil pipeline isn’t catered for, Tanzania is ready, they have already budgeted for it,” said Vincent Ssempijja, the Minister of Defence, while appearing before Parliament’s Defence Committee on Thursday.
He added: “It is a thorn in our back, it has remained unfunded.”
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) also asked for Shs31.5Bn to develop an oil and gas monitoring system to be used to monitor all taxpayers within this sector.
“Are you saying that on the part of Uganda, you haven’t provided for the security of our pipeline? It is first of all Uganda’s pipeline before it becomes East Africa, so how can you not provide for it?” asked Wilson Kajwengye (Nyabushozi County) during Thursday’s plenary.
The UPDF’s total desired budget is Shs9.123 trillion in 2024/25.
However, only Shs3.880Trn has been availed, leaving a shortfall of Shs5.242Trn.
The Army also wants Shs62.8Bn for deployment in DRC, Shs27.5Bn for deployment in Karamoja, while Shs40.889Bn is needed for utilities (water and electricity) but no penny has been availed for this.
The Army is also seeking for an extra Shs997.020Bn for payment of salary for the soldiers and other staff after the request of Shs2.049Trn was made, but only Shs1.052Trn was provided.
Among the likely affected groups are the Local Defence Personnel formally known as Local Defence Units (LDUs) deployed require Shs27.6Bn for salaries, while Local Defence Personnel (LDPs) on training require Shs28Bn on the day they pass out.