Makamba: provide credible information to manage public expectation
The Minister of Energy, Hon. January Makamba urged leaders to provide credible information to the public regarding the prospectivity of oil and gas discovery in Zanzibar to avoid creating unrealistic expectations.
Makamba said that on July 26, 2023 in Unguja, Zanzibar while airing opening remarks at the Zanzibar Energy and Industrial Summit (ZEIS).
Expounding on his statement, Hon. Makamba said exploration and development of oil and gas take time, therefore, it is imperative to regularly keep wananchi abreast of the ongoings and supply them with realistic information.
Citing examples from Tanzania mainland, Makamba said exploration of oil and gas alone takes several years (up to 9 years from the Petroleum Act, 2015), the result of which could either be positive (make a discovery) or negative (hit a dry well).
“I recall when I was appointed to serve as a Minister of Energy, I gave a six months’ ultimatum for the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) negotiations to be concluded but to my surprise, it took us eighteen good months even though we had our team stationed permanently in Arusha for the negotiation,” said Makamba.
Makamba also hinted at the unrealistic expectation created when a massive amount of gas was discovered in deep onshore in Tanzania Mainland in the early 2010s. During this period, Makamba stated, incorrect information relayed to the public resulted in wananchi having their heads in the cloud, thinking the discovered gas would have immediately transformed their lives economically.
Makamba’s call has come at the right time when Zanzibar prepares to announce open exploration blocks to new investors who will conduct exploration of oil and gas therein.