Thursday, June 17, 2010

Uganda's imperial problem

Following our blog yesterday on mineral taxes in Mali, we have noticed another, in the same vein, concerning Uganda. This one is a story about Heritage Oil, a company with an extremely colourful past which is trying to wiggle out of paying a $360 million capital gains tax on a sale it made to Ireland's Tullow Oil (another unusual company, at least with respect to some of its other operations in Gabon.)

Heritage, with astonishing imperial arrogance, wants to settle the disagreement in a court in London, the former seat of the British empire, which for historical reasons remains a centre for this kind of thing.

As the FT reports:

Hilary Onek, Uganda’s energy minister, told the Financial Times yesterday that the government “would not budge” and that, like any company in Uganda, Heritage was liable for the tax.

“The oil fields are not in London. They [Heritage] are doing business here based on a national asset. They are obliged to pay the tax,” he said. “If I were Heritage I would not go for arbitration. I would just pay my tax and get my super profit. I don’t understand that greed.”

Well said.


Blogger James said...

The fact that the man behind Heritage Oil (Mr Tony Buckingham) is Jersey's wealthiest resident speaks volumes. But not half as much as the fact that the JEP article never mentioned how he made his money...

5:04 am  
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