The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development has pledged to support the partial opening of the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) to enable it continue training the workforce for Uganda’s nascent oil and gas industry.
The institute, like all institutions of learning, is currently closed due to ongoing restrictions to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Hon Ruth Nankabirwa made the remarks during the start of her inaugural tour to key energy installations in mid-western Uganda since her appointment as minister by President Yoweri Museveni. The UPIK was the first stop on her multiday tour that will see her also visit the Albertine graben, home to Uganda’s oil wells.
“This is a very important and strategic institute to the country and I will, therefore, support your efforts to have it partially opened,” she said while responding to requests by UPIK to have it partially opened.
Nankabirwa also urged local leaders not to clamour to turn this institute into a university. “There is a clamour for universities but this institute should only be supported to become a centre of excellence in oil and gas training so that it continuously trains Ugandans for the job market,” she said.
The minister said that UPIK is playing a key role to prepare workers for both the public and private sector. “Students from this institute are critical in the implementation of the oil and gas projects,” she added.
The minister was accompanied by Hon Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Minerals and Uganda National Oil Company CEO Ms. Proscovia Nabbanja, who is also the UPIK Governing Council Chairperson and technical officers from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development led by Mr.Honey Malinga, the Director of Petroleum. Malinga is also representing the Permanent Secretary on the tour.
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