By Sierra Ruth Arinaitwe
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon Ruth Nankabirwa has vowed to fast track and defend the Mining and Minerals bill 2020 before the Parliament of Uganda to have it passed as soon as possible.
The Mining and Minerals Bill which seeks to consolidate and reform the law relating to mineral resources in Uganda will focus on tightening the loose ends to protect Uganda’s minerals against exploitation and enforce compliance.
According to the Minister, the Bill has already been introduced to the committee and as a team, her ministry is looking forward to pursue all the necessary requirements to defend and have it passed.
“We strive at providing an open, transparent and competitive process of licensing and create a conducive environment for promotion of exploration of Uganda’s mineral potential,” Nankabirwa said.
The Permanent Secretary Eng. Irene Bateebe also noted that once passed, the Mining and Mineral Bill will enable proper regulation of Uganda’s minerals including gold -to address most of the regulatory challenges faced in the minerals sub sector.
Nankabirwa made these remarks on Monday during her ministerial visit to the Directorate of Geological Surveys and Mines (DGSM) offices and Petroleum building in Entebbe . She was accompanied by the Minister of State for Minerals Hon Peter Lokeris, Minister of State for Energy Hon Okaasai Opolot and the Permanent Secretary Eng. Irene Bateebe.
During the visit, the minister recognized the Directorate of Geological Surveys and Mines (DGSM) for the good work done over the years even though much of what they do is not known to the public. “The Directorate has been in existence since 1919. For the past 100 years a lot of work has been done in discovering all the minerals being enjoyed by majority of Ugandans but few people know about it,” she noted.
She therefore pledged to shine a spotlight on the minerals department in order to enhance its visibility for the country to know its presence and performance as far as mineral development and explorations is concerned.
“Am happy that we have started this year with the minerals subsector. We are going to dedicate two quarters of the financial year to the directorate to improve and support the commercial unit in the sub sector since minerals are some of the areas that can bring money very quickly to Uganda’s economy,” she pledged.
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