Uganda insists Tullow Oil must pay taxes before leaving
By Our Reporter
Tullow confirmed earlier Thursday that their Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) deadline had passed.
Now the ministry of energy has stressed that Tullow must pay Capital Gains tax before it can be allowed to sell part of its stake to Total and CNOOC Uganda.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Robert Kasande in a statement on Thursday said the government’s position is that the assessed tax should be paid in line with the laws of Uganda and tax reliefs be treated in accordance with laws of Uganda.
“Government’s position is that the assessed tax should be paid in line with the laws of Uganda and tax reliefs are treated in accordance with the laws of Uganda,” he said.
The issue of contention according to Kasande was that Tullow sought to transfer its interest without payment of Capital Gains Tax arising from the sale to CNOOC and Total.
Tullow was required to pay $167m (Shs600b) capital gains tax. While the buying Total and CNOOC were also supposed to meet certain taxes for the deal to conclude.
Tullow Chief Executive Officer, Paul McDade earlier on Thursday said they had been informed that its farm-down to Total and CNOOC will terminate at the end of the day (29 August 2019) following the expiry of the Sales Purchase Agreements.
He said Tullow has been unable to secure a further extension of the Sales Purchase Agreements with its Joint Venture Partners, despite previous extensions to the Sales Purchase Agreements having been agreed by all parties.
McDade explained that the termination of this transaction as a result of being unable to agree on all aspects of the tax treatment of the transaction with the Government of Uganda which was a condition to completing the sales purchase agreements(SPAs)
He noted that while Tullow’s capital gains tax position had been agreed as per the Group’s disclosure in its 2018 Full Year Results, the Ugandan Revenue Authority and the Joint Venture Partners could not agree on the availability of tax relief for the consideration to be paid by Total and CNOOC as buyers.
He revealed that Tullow will initiate a new sales process to reduce its 33.33% Operated stake in the Lake Albert project which has over 1.5 billion barrels of discovered recoverable resources and is expected to produce over 230,000 barrels of oil per day at peak production.
McDade said the Joint Venture Partners had been targeting a Final Investment Decision for the Uganda development by the end of 2019, but the termination of this transaction is likely to lead to further delay.
Kasande in response said the several engagements between the government and three oil companies about the aborted $900 million farm-down deal had not yielded the desired outcome.
The other issue of the standoff was that the government has insisted that the farm-down would only proceed only after certain tax deductions not ordinarily transferable to buyers be transferable to the buyers.
Uganda Revenue Authority according to Kasande communicated the said tax to the Joint Venture Partners on 10th August 29, 2019, to the Joint Venture partners leading to the current standoff.
The Joint Venture Partners have during the negotiations disagreed on of tax relief for to be paid by Total and CNOOC as buyers. CNOOC Uganda had not issued a statement about the latest developments by the time of filing this report.
Total’s exploration & production President, Arnaud Breuillac in a statement said despite the termination of this agreement, Total together with its partners CNOOC and Tullow will continue to focus all its efforts on progressing the development of the Lake Albert oil resources.
“The project is technically mature, and we are committed to continuing to work with the government of Uganda to address the key outstanding issues required to reach an investment decision. A stable and suitable legal and fiscal framework remains a critical requirement for investors.” Said Breuillac in a statement.
Meanwhile, Tullow says it initiate a new sales process to reduce its 33.33% Operated stake in the Lake Albert project. Paul McDade’s statement said the Joint Venture Partners had been targeting a Final Investment Decision for the Uganda development by the end of 2019, but the termination of this transaction is likely to lead to further delay.
The Energy Ministry’s Robert Kasande said the government since the issuance licenses in 2012 and 2016, remained committed to enabling the licensees to take the Final Investment Decision (FID).
He noted that the Final Investment Decision included the upgrade of critical roads and other infrastructure, securing permits related to environment protection, excess gas utilization, and land acquisition.
“We are therefore confident that as Tullow moves to re-initiate a new sales process, the JVPs will remain committed to fulfilling tax obligations,” said Kasande in a statement
Kasande said the government will continue to work with the threes oil companies (Joint Venture to ensure that a Final Investment Decision (FID) is achieved at “earliest and in a manner that safeguards the country’s interests and sovereignty while delivering a healthy return on investment for licensees” said Kasande.
Story by URN
Singer Bruno K Exposed For Neglecting His Son, Claims He Only Has One Child
The internet has been abuzz following accusations leveled against Bruno Kiggundu, popularly known as Bruno K, over his alleged neglect of his son, Seth Kiggundu. In a tweet, a user identified as Keith alleged that Bruno K had abandoned his only son, Seth, and only pays attention to his daughter, Briella.
Keith claimed that Vanessa, his best friend, had a baby boy with Bruno K, and the singer had refused to fulfill his parental responsibilities towards Seth. He further accused Bruno of making Vanessa’s life difficult in 2022, which caused her to loathe the singer.
While it is essential to respect the baby’s privacy, it is crucial to hold public figures accountable for their actions, especially when they involve the welfare of children. The allegations against Bruno K are serious and should not be taken lightly.
Child abandonment is a severe issue that affects many children worldwide. It is a form of child neglect that can lead to adverse effects on a child’s development, including emotional and behavioral problems. Children who are abandoned by their parents may experience feelings of rejection, anger, and low self-esteem, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
As a public figure, Bruno K has a responsibility to set a good example for his fans and followers, especially young people. Neglecting one’s child is not only morally wrong but also illegal under Ugandan law. The Children’s Act of Uganda provides that every child has the right to parental care and protection, and any parent who neglects their child can be charged with child abuse.
It is not clear whether the allegations against Bruno K are true, but if they are, he should take responsibility for his actions and do the right thing for his son. Children need both parents to grow up happy and healthy, and neglecting one’s child is unacceptable.
In conclusion, the allegations against Bruno K are serious, and if true, they represent a worrying trend of child neglect in Uganda. As a society, we must hold public figures accountable for their actions and demand that they do the right thing for their children. Let us all strive to create a safe and nurturing environment for all children, regardless of their family background.
Speaker Rt. Hon. Anita Among Orders Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi To Stop Making Excuses For Not Establishing The Tribunal
Speaker of parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Among has ordered the Minister of Information, Communications, Technology, and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi to stop making excuses for not establishing the tribunal which she said has been pending for a long.
The speaker’s order followed Dr. Chris Baryomunsi’s attribution of the delay to create the Uganda Communications Tribunal to the recent Cabinet decision on the rationalization of agencies.
The speaker of Parliament Among emphasized the need for the tribunal in place.
“We need a tribunal. How sure are you that we are going to rationalize [government agencies]? We want a tribunal in UCC; we cannot do ad-hoc kind of operations,” Among said.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Act makes provision for the creation of a tribunal that is supposed to handle complaints relating to the decisions of UCC as provided under Sections 60 and 64 of the Act.
He said this during the Wednesday, 22 March 20223 plenary sitting where he tabled the Uganda Communications (Fees and Fines) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023.
The regulations provide for fees and fines to be paid by telecommunication and broadcasting companies for spectrum or frequency access in order to improve telecommunication services.
His response was prompted by the Leader of Opposition (LOP), Hon. Mathias Mpuuga who accused the minister of ‘sleeping on the job’ by failing to fulfill the provisions of the UCC Act in regard to the creation of the communications tribunal.
“We have raised severally in our alternative policies the question of the minister failing to appoint the UCC tribunal. The minister is now the tribunal; he is acting as the complainant, prosecutor, and judge at the same time. The Ministry [of ICT] is holding media houses at ransom with no recourse to this tribunal,” Mpuuga said.
The Speaker referred the Regulations to the Committee on ICT and National Guidance for scrutiny with a strong caution to UCC not to start collecting fees until Parliament approves the regulations.
Section 93 of the UCC Act, 2013 states that, ‘the minister may, after consultation with the Commission and with the approval of Parliament, by statutory instrument, make regulations for better carrying into effect the provisions of this Act’.
Anti-gay Bill Will Impinge Upon Universal Human Rights, Jeopardize Progress In Fight Against HIV/AIDS In Uganda-White House
The White House and the European Union (EU) have joined the United Nations (UN) and other human rights groups in condemning the just passed Anti-homosexuality Bill.
The Bill that awaits assent from the president was passed by MPs on Tuesday night after a seven-hour heated session.
The bill introduces stricter penalties for people engaged in same-sex activities in Uganda including the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality.
It also proposes life in prison for the offense of “homosexuality” and up to 10 years in jail for attempted homosexuality.
Now White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre says the Bill is one of the most extreme laws targeting homosexuality in the world.
She warns that this will not only impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS but will also deter tourism and damage Uganda’s international reputation.
“We have great concerns with the passage of the Anti-homosexuality Act by the parliament of Uganda and increasing violence targeting LGBTQI+ persons,” Karine said.
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