President Yoweri Museveni and President John Magufuli have signed the East African Crude Oil Pipe Line Agreement (EACOP) as an expression of intent to go ahead with the construction of the 1400km oil pipe line from Hoima to Tanga port.
This followed bilateral talks between both parties at State House, Dar-es-Salaam where they discussed modalities for the implementation of the pipeline and agreed to the terms of the construction.
“I am very happy to be in this State House where we have signed and concluded all the outstanding issues concerning the oil pipe line agreement. We have agreed that the value added tax to this project is deemed to have been paid…,”Mr. Museveni said.
The president said that the project itself was a culmination of a lot of work and that it showed East Africa can do things if they want to.
“We have been negotiating on the terms of this project. It is a realization of the economic and social development of the country. This project will benefit Uganda and Tanzania. It is one of the strategic ways for the integration of the East African Community and will strengthen our relationship,” said Mr. Museveni at the press conference in State House.
The President informed officials and journalists that currently Uganda has 6.5billion barrels of petroleum oil that can be used to economically transform the country and was happy that Tanzania had agreed to help out with the project.
“Once we found petroleum oil, my idea was to was to refine it and sell it in the country but they told me that since consumption is low in Uganda, we need to get a way to transport it to other markets hence agreeing on the Tanga-Hoima route, “Mr Museveni explained.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Museveni noted that the fact that the land system in Tanzania is favourable and Tanga is a protected port from ocean waves makes it justifiable for the oil project as the waves of the ocean do not disturb the transportation.
The president reiterated that one of the beneficiaries of the project would be the East African Airlines that would be able to use jet fuel once it is refined instead of importing from other countries.
“Africa is huge and we need air transport to start using its own jet fuel. Our tourism industry is also big and we need this fuel to transport tourists. Very soon we shall be able to compete with the gulf,” he said.
The president concluded by saying that the oil project showed the importance of the political, social and economic integration.
Mr. Magufuli was very grateful for the partnership with Uganda because it will create employment for both Uganda and Tanzania and will be a good source of revenue.
He also added that as a result of this project, the cost of oil in both countries would drastically reduce making it cheaper to buy.
He told the officials that Uganda and Tanzania have laid a foundation stone for the project and hoped that the good relationship with Uganda and Tanzania would continue.