In a bid to have locals gain employment in the oil and gas industry, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has urged communities in Hoima to invest in education.
The company, which is developing oil fields in Hoima, seeks to acquaint learners in the region with the oil and gas sector as a way of ensuring that local communities benefit from the natural resources.
More than 20,000 casual and skilled laborers mainly those with technical skills including welders will be required during the development of the oil production related infrastructure including Kabaale oil refinery and the related crude oil pipeline connecting the refinery to Tanga port in Tanzania, according to the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU).
Aminah Bukenya, the CNOOC Uganda senior public relations supervisor, said this on May 17 while presiding over Best Performers awards for the 2017 best students in the district.
“The awards affirm our willingness to be a good neighbour to the communities in which we operate and commitment to a win-win situation with its stakeholders in the region,” she said.
CNOOC recognized and awarded 90 best performers in PLE, UCE and UACE under its Corporate Social Responsibility Program codenamed ‘CNOOC Best Performers Awards.’
In all, the learners shared amongst themselves Shs 28 million. The money is meant to help them with tuition as they progress to higher learning institutions. CNOOC started the initiative in 2012 and to date, about 420 students have benefitted.
Meanwhile, Daniel Muhairwe, the Buhaguzi MP, urged other oil companies operating in the Albertine graben to look into supplementing government effort to promote vocational training as a way of preparing the local children for jobs in the oil and gas industry.
Kadiri Kirungi, the Hoima district chairman, hailed CNOOC for its continued support towards education. He, however, highlighted the desire to change from awarding cash and resort to sponsoring at least 15 students at university every year.