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PROFILES: Meet UNOC’s Top Bosses Charged With Getting Best Oil Deals For Uganda

A photo montage of UNOC top management team

Uganda National Oil Company Limited (UNOC) is a limited liability company solely owned by the Government of Uganda. It was established under Section 42 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development, and Production) Act and Section 7 of the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission and Midstream Storage) Act, both of 2013. It was incorporated under the Companies Act of 2012 as a limited liability company on June 12th, 2015.  

UNOC is mandated to handle the Government’s commercial interests in the petroleum sector and to ensure that the resource is exploited in a sustainable manner.    

The Company is also mandated to investigate and propose new upstream, midstream, and downstream ventures initially locally and eventually internationally.

UNOC has two wholly owned subsidiaries namely the Uganda Refinery Holding Company Ltd (URHC) and National Pipeline Company (U) Ltd (NPC). URHC will hold a participating interest of up to 40% in the impending refinery to be developed in Kabaale, Hoima and manage the development of Kabaale Industrial Park (KIP).

The NPC will hold a participating interest of up to 15% in the 1443-kilometer East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) on behalf of the Government of Uganda. It will manage the development and operations of storage terminals and pipelines as well develop downstream supply and trading business.   

But who are the people running UNOC? In this article, we bring you the top management team of UNOC. These are the people not only involved in the day-today running of the company, but also play a crucial role in the oil deals/ partnerships that Uganda enters into with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other key partners.

Ms. Proscovia Nabbanja, UNOC Chief Executive Officer

Proscovia Nabbanja

Proscovia has 19 years of experience in oil and gas industry. Formerly served as a Principal Geologist in the Petroleum Exploration & Production Department under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. She headed the Technical Division and was at the forefront of reviews of technical proposals especially field development plans and petroleum reservoir reports.

She headed the estimation and reporting of the oil resources and reserves in the country, field operations monitoring and management of petroleum data.

She has sat on a number of inter-ministerial committees and also worked on a number of Donor funded programs such as Oil for Development and USAID. Proscovia holds a BSc (Chemistry, Geology) -MUK, MSC Petroleum Geoscience- Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, DIC, Dip Petroleum Management and Operations, MBA-Imperial College Business School.

Dr. Michael Nkambo Mugerwa, General Manager – Uganda Refinery Holding Company Ltd

Michael Nkambo Mugerwa

Michael is a chemical engineer, with over 32 years of professional technical and management experience in the global oil, gas and renewable energy industry.

His areas of expertise include process engineering, project management, project controls, risk management, contracts, safety, oil refinery technologies, fuel cell systems, and geothermal power plants.

Michael holds BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester, UK. His postgraduate research focused on the characterization and modeling of pore structures in oil-bearing sandstones and petrochemical catalysts. In the recent past, he was based in Europe and North America and worked for the global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors Technip and Jacobs Engineering serving the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

He is a Chartered Engineer (UK) and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Mr. John Bosco Habumugisha, General Manager – National Pipeline Company Ltd

John Bosco Habumugisha

John has 23 years  of experience in petroleum infrastructure development including pipelines and storage facilities, policy formulation and implementation, international humanitarian operations with the United Nations and private sector downstream petroleum operations.

He is a multi-skilled engineering and management professional who holds a Masters’ degree with Distinction in Pipeline Engineering from Newcastle University, United Kingdom, a Masters’ degree in Industrial Engineering from University of New South Wales, Australia, and a 1st Class Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Makerere University, in addition to various certificates. John is a member of the Professional Institute of Pipeline Engineers (PIPE), the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE), and the Institution of Procurement Professionals of Uganda (IPPU). John is married with four children.

Mr. Emmanuel Mugagga, Chief Financial Officer

Emmanuel Mugagga

Emmanuel has over 19 years of experience in the oil and gas industry ranging from Upstream, Midstream and Downstream. He worked with Shell Uganda Limited, Shell Oil Products Africa, and Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd.

Emmanuel’s areas of expertise are Strategic Planning, Business Strategy, Controls Framework, Planning and Budgeting, Business Processes, Treasury Management, Joint Venture Accounting, Business Analysis, Tax, Pension Fund Administration, Business Management, Use & Implementation of ERP systems, Contracts Management and Project Management. He has an MBA from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants, United Kingdom and a Member of Certified Public Accountants, Uganda.

Mr. Peter Muliisa, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer

Peter Muliisa

Peter started his career as a magistrate and thereafter spent 11 years in the litigation office of Uganda Revenue Authority. He is an enrolled advocate in Uganda, a member of the Uganda Law Society and East African Law Society.

Peter has appeared in all courts in Uganda and handled most of the key tax decisions in the last eleven years.

He is interested in arbitration and has been involved in three arbitration matters as counsel and speaks at arbitration conferences. Peter holds an LLB from Makerere University, a Diploma in Legal practice from the Law Development Centre and an LLM in petroleum taxation and Finance from the University of Dundee.

Peter’s areas of interest are corporate governance, project finance, negotiations, taxation, litigation and arbitration.

Ms. Catherine Tumusiime, Chief Human Resource Officer

Catherine Tumusiime

Catherine has 17 years’ experience in Human Resource and Administration. She previously served as Manager, Human Resource and Administration at Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).

Catherine holds an MA. in Public Administration and Management, BA. in Social Work and Social Administration, both of Makerere University, and Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management of Uganda Management Institute (UMI). In addition, she is a Certified Human Resource Manager of AMC, Nairobi Kenya. She is also qualified in training of new human resource managers.

Catherine is a Member of the Human Resource Manager’s Association of Uganda (HRMAU).

Mr. Gilbert Kamuntu, Chief Commercial Officer

Gilbert Kamuntu

Gilbert has 15 years’ experience almost all within the oil and gas industry. His experience includes economic modelling, business analysis and commercial negotiations across the petroleum value chain from upstream production, refining, crude oil pipelines and oil terminals.

Gilbert began his oil and gas career with Shell as a refinery economist at Stanlow Refinery in North West England, afterwhich he spent several years in Shell’s Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions working on transactions in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. Gilbert also worked for Tullow Oil plc on the Uganda and Kenya Upstream Developments based in London, Nairobi and Kampala.

Gilbert has a Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, MSc (Distinction) in Energy Studies specializing in Energy Finance from Dundee University and MBA (Merit) from University of British Columbia. His MSc thesis focused on the weaknesses of crude oil benchmarks in financial derivatives. He has also completed several courses in project and infrastructure finance, corporate strategy and leadership at Manchester Business School and London Business School.

Mr. Philips Obita, Chief Operating Officer – Upstream

Philips Obita

Philips is a Petroleum Geoscientist, with over 20 years of experience in the upstream oil & gas industry. His areas of expertise include assessment of petroleum potential of acreages, petroleum resource estimation, field appraisal, development planning and negotiation of upstream petroleum agreements. Prior to being appointed as Chief Operating Officer – Upstream, Philips serviced as the Head of Development & Production for UNOC since August 2017 and was responsible for the management of UNOC’s upstream development and production operations to maximise value for the Company.

He previously worked in the Petroleum Exploration & Production Department under the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development where he started his career as a Geophysicist in 2000, and latr serviced as a Senior Geophysicist. He was Head of Compliance Division leading reviews of oil companies’ work programs and budgets for petroleum operations and ensuring that operations are executed in a prudent and cost-effective manner. He also represented the Ministry in a number of Inter-Ministerial Committees including for the evaluating of petroleum exploration and production license proposals and negotiating upstream petroleum agreements.

Philips holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Makerere University, Master of Science in Petroleum Geoscience from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), Post Graduate Diploma in Management of Petroleum Development and operations (Norway) and several other trainings in the oil and gas sector.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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