The Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources is set to investigate reports of the suspicious transportation of crude oil from the Albertine region.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, directed the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Irene Muloni, to give way for the Committee to investigate the suspicious activities after Committee Members complained about denial of access to the oil exploration sites in the Albertine region.
This follows complaints raised by MPs that crude oil from the Albertine region was being ferried out of the country in the night.
Parliament last week demanded for a statement from the Minister for Internal Affairs on the circumstances surrounding the ferrying of crude oil.
However, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Hon. Obiga Kania said that the Ministry was not directly responsible for the activities in the oil exploration region.
“We have no order to start inspecting trucks coming from that region and the goods they carry. However, if I am given a directive to investigate the matter, I am ready to do that,” the Minister said.
Hon. Muloni said the crude oil that she knows about is the oil that was being used for testing and is now being sold: “the bidding process was opened and adverts put in the newspapers,” she said.
The Speaker however, asked Muloni to tell the House how crude oil was being disposed of.
“According to the law that we passed here, you are supposed to inform Parliament regularly about whatever is going on concerning oil. You cannot tell us that you put it in the newspapers,” Kadaga said.
Hon. Elijah Okupa (Kasilo County) said Parliament needs to know the quantities of crude oil that are being disposed of.
“You denied the Committee access to oil areas. The Minister has just confirmed that there is some crude oil. I think the minister should come clean on what is happening,” he said.
Hon. Jacqueline Aol Rama, a former journalist, however, said that MPs need to interest themselves in learning before they derail people because oil matters are complex.
“As an oil reporter, we found out a lot by going down to the ground. We thought certain things were going on until we got there and found out otherwise,” she said.
Muloni denied allegations that the Parliamentary Committee had been denied access to the oil Albertine region.