NEBBI. As Uganda prepares for the oil and gas industry, residents along the Albertan graben have been advised to register with the national content development if they are to benefit from the oil industry.

Mr Godie Kwizera, the executive director Albertine Graben oil and gas district association (AGODA) said there are so many opportunities which come with the discovery of oil and gas in a region that include among others, supply of goods and services, employment, technology transfer which locals can tap on.

"With all these opportunities in place, there is need for district leaders to address the issue of local content and encourage the local hotels and food industries to register with the national content development so that they can also benefit from the oil and gas industry," Kwezera advised.

He said most of the companies currently dealing in supply are foreign but just using the local people to get what they supply yet this could be done by the locals if their capacities are built.

Kwezera noted that since 2017 to January 2018, a total of over 1500 both foreign and Ugandan companies have qualified as suppliers with a new registration window to again be opened in September for locals to take advantage of.

"There is also need to develop local tourism which is the most suitable area for sustainability and to reduce the risks, there is need to protect the fauna and flora and fragile ecosystem identified," Kwezera added.

Meanwhile Mr Boniface Opio, the Nebbi district planner said the conditions for one to be a supplier are so stringent that they don't favor the local people. He said this has been made worse by some people having interest in the whole process.

"There is also need to separate the local content from the national content so that people from the grass root can also benefit," Opio said.

Current information on the oil and gas industry indicates that the expected investment is US dollars 20 billion in the next 2-3 years and this investment in just one sector is almost 74% of the GDP which is $27 billion shillings.

This will be a big push to the Ugandan economy and it is expected to drive the country towards attainment of the lower middle status by 2020 and the vision 2040.