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Uganda moves a step closer to a domestic oil refinery.

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Uganda has taken a step forward, once again, to restore its interest to have a domestic refinery in place as part of the overall plan to maximize the benefits of the oil and gas sector.

The new players are a UAE-led consortium associated with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai royal family. The firm known, as Alpha MBM, is an investment vehicle, part of the MBM family of investments listed also as private interest of the Royal Family.

Alpha MBM is in consortium for the refinery project with two companies with extensive oil and gas experience. They are SKA Energy, a sub-division of the SKA International Group, an Iraq-based operator. SKA’s business is in construction, fuel supply and logistics as well as refining and petrochemicals.

While Alpha MBM will be the primary source of investment capital, it is SKA’s construction and oil marketing experience that will form the commercial block of the consortium. Lastly is SPEC energy, a fairly well-known oil and gas integrated firm with a presence in the Middle East.

SPEC for the Uganda refinery project is presenting its operated refinery projects at four locations (Slemani, Iraq, Al Barham in Kirkuk, San Company refinery in Rajaf and Kyber refinery in Pakistan as well as other projects).

Presently, the refinery consortium is in expedited negotiations with the government of Uganda. The negotiations are time-sensitive because crude production is set to begin next year and project work on the East African Crude oil pipeline (EACOP) is further ahead. The EACOP company is finalizing its financing with its primary lenders which is expected to be concluded by May 2024.

The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and the ministry of Energy intend to bring the refinery agreements firmly into place around the same time. To this end, the senior agreements for the refinery, namely an Implementation Agreement and a Crude Supply Agreement, are being negotiated.

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Presidential system to be adopted by Osun.

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The Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, OSSIEC, Hashim Abioye has once again reiterated that the presidential system of government will be adopted for the local government election in the state.

The Osun State House of Assembly in 2022 passed the OSSIEC Law, 2022 which readopted the presidential system.

The OSSIEC chairman also stated that the basis for the adoption of the system was premised on the Electoral Act, 2022 which was passed by the National Assembly.

In his words, “OSSIEC Law, 2022 stipulated the presidential system for the local government poll in Osun State.

“That is what we will adopt for the local government election in Osun in 2025. The Electoral Act, 2022 will be complied with in totality. OSSIEC will not go against it.”

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Benon and Vamposs share rehearsal teaser videos

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The much-awaited fifth episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions is about to drop, and oh boy, it’s going to be a musical rollercoaster like no other!

The teaser videos that have been circulated on social media have left fans tapping their feet in anticipation as the dynamic duo, Benon and Vamposs, gear up to deliver a heart-warming episode.

The teaser gives us a sneak peek into the rehearsals where Benon, with his signature smile, promises fans, “just be ready for surprises, and I think people should expect a premium Benon & Vamposs.”

These two maestros have been instrumental in shaping the Ugandan music scene, and now they’re back to spill the beans on their journey, success, and maybe a bit of their infamous banter.

“The creative process has been hectic; we still have the chemistry, and I think it’s something that comes from performing together for a long time and the many years we have crafted our art…,” reveals Benon in the teaser.

But it’s not all serious. Vamposs can be heard poking fun at Benon’s love life, adding a dash of humour to the mix. “I don’t see where you even got this love that you are writing about except lying to this crowd,” he jokes.

On a more sombre note, Vamposs shares, “We have a lot of different stories. We are working with the band to see how mellow we can get. It’s not going to be all that rough,” hinting at a different stage presence which will be more intimate in comparison to their usual vibrant performances.

Music lovers should save the date; Sunday, March 3. The fifth episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions featuring Benon & Vamposs will be live on the Tusker Malt and Swangz Avenue YouTube channel at 6 pm. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness the magic, the music, and the memories.

You can also catch up on previous episodes featuring the likes of Kenneth Mugabi, Lilian Mbabazi, The Mith, and Juliana both YouTube pages.

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Ronald Mayinja reveals the inspiration behind his classic song “Necklace”

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Renowned Ugandan singer Ronald Mayinja has shared the story behind his popular song “Necklace.” Born in 1976 in Benja-Gomba, Ronald Mayinja has produced numerous hit songs throughout his career.

Necklace, in particular, has remained one of the favourites among fans, especially those in love. At a press conference for his upcoming concert Old is Gold Mayinja at 49, the singer disclosed that the inspiration for the song came from his girlfriend Julie.

Julie, who attended boarding school while Mayinja was in day school, sparked his fears of losing her to someone else. He penned down “Necklace” as a request for her to entrust her necklace to him to cherish in her absence.

However, after receiving advice from Mariam Ndagire, Mayinja decided to make the song more relatable by expanding its meaning beyond his personal experience.

He hence created a song that resonated with anyone who has ever been in a long-distance relationship or felt the ache of missing someone they love.

He crafted lyrics that painted a vivid picture of two souls yearning for each other’s presence, using the metaphor of a necklace to symbolize the connection they shared.

Over the years, “Necklace” has remained a timeless classic in Ugandan music. Its universal theme and emotional resonance have allowed it to transcend time and continue to touch the hearts of listeners, regardless of age or background.

Mayinja’s decision to expand the song’s scope and make it relatable to a wider audience proved to be a stroke of genius, cementing his status as a celebrated veteran musician in Uganda.

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