Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nigeria to help Uganda on petroleum

Thursday, 20th November, 2008 - The New Vision [Uganda]

NIGERIA will help Uganda start a petroleum institute through which to build capacity to extract petroleum, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

Nigeria, which is experienced in petroleum exploitation, will also assist Uganda manage the resource, the President added.

He made the remarks at a press conference he addressed jointly with Nigerian leader Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in Abuja yesterday.

It followed talks between Museveni and Yar’Adua during which the two leaders discussed bilateral issues. Museveni is in Nigeria on a four-day working visit.
Museveni’s press unit said the talks took place at the State House in Abuja. Museveni was accompanied by First Lady Janet.

Both parties agreed, Museveni told the press conference after the talks, that a Nigerian airline starts flights between Entebbe and Abuja and that a joint commission be set up to discuss ways of enhancing trade between them.

The Ugandan delegation to the talks included ministers Sam Kutesa (foreign affairs), Dr. Ezra Suruma (finance), Daudi Migereko (energy), Janat Mukwaya (trade and tourism) and John Byabagambi (works).

The Nigerian side included Vice-President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Responding to a question, Museveni cited the export of unprocessed raw materials to the developed world as one of the problems affecting development of the continent.

He stressed that education is crucial for the development of the continent. He gave the example of Japan which has no natural resource but is the second-strongest economy in the world because it prioritised education.
Yar’Adua said the meeting was meant to renew bilateral relations between Uganda and Nigeria, which he said, had existed since independence.

He noted that he and Museveni discussed the DR Congo conflict, southern Sudan, the global economic crisis and the need for Africa to address the challenge as a single bloc.
Yar’Adua said Nigeria was training a battalion to join African peacekeepers in Somalia. Their deployment, he said, was delayed to allow them be re-trained and equipped appropriately.

He said this had been achieved and the contingent would be dispatched soon.
Later in the evening, Museveni met the Nigerian business community at Transcorp Hilton Hotel. He also laid a wreath at the national cenotaph of the tomb of an unknown soldier in the city of Abuja.

The President was scheduled to travel to Kuru in Plateau State today to deliver a lecture at the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies. The institute is 300km away from Abuja.

On his arrival at Nnamdi Asikiwe International Airport on Wednesday, Museveni told the press that he was seeking to boost economic ties between Uganda and Nigeria.