The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija has inaugurated the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) of the Petroleum Fund chaired by Prof. Samuel Sejaaka.

During the ceremony at the Ministry of Finance, Kasaija congratulated the seven members upon their appointment to this committee which is a requirement under section 66 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015.

The major role of the Committee is to advise on the investments to be made under the Petroleum Revenue Investment Reserve (PRIR).

“I trust that with your vast experience in the various fields and the unique skills you possess, you will work in the best interests of the people of the Republic of Uganda,” the Minister said.

This Committee is part of the governance framework that will ensure that the proceeds from oil and gas, being a non-renewable resource are wisely invested in accordance with international best practice and to the benefit of the current and future generations.

Kasaija said the discovery of oil and gas resources often leads to a sharp increase in the flow of foreign currency leading to local currency appreciation and making the country’s other products less competitive on the export market (Dutch disease).

“If this Dutch disease is not properly addressed, it might lead to a decline or shutdown of other sectors of the economy,” said the Minister. He said robust governance structures have to be set up including laws, regulations and policies to ensure that the Ugandan economy does not follow the trend of some countries that fell into this trap.

Members of the Committee included Joseph Muvawala representing National Planning Authority, Mr. Honey Malinga representing the Ministry responsible for Petroleum and Mrs. Jennifer Muhuruzi Bigirwa representing Ministry of Finance.

Other Members of the Committee are Ms. Agnes Tibayeita Isharaza, Mr. David Arthur Wandera and Ms. Saad Asmahaney.

As at June 2016, discovered resources in the country were estimated at 6.5 billion barrels of oil, of which about 1.4 to 1.7 billion barrels is recoverable. At a projected peak production rate of about 200,000 barrels of oil per day, the 1.7 billion barrels can last about 25 years.