Governments, investors use confidentiality clauses to conceal extractive contracts: Stakeholders say

Wednesday August 14 2019

By John Namkwahe @johnteck3 jnamkwahe@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The inclusion of confidentiality clauses in the extractive industries contracts has been pronounced as a major challenge denying the stakeholders opportunity to access the terms and conditions of  agreement reached between the African governments and  investors.

The situation further denies the members of the community in the respective countries to access the information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how the revenue makes its way through the government and its contribution to the economy.

This is concern raised by extractive industry stakeholders during the 39th SADC and People's Summit organized by Haki Rasilimali held in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, August, 14, 2019.

The stakeholders were particularly concerned about the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Standards that requires its implementing countries including Tanzania to make public the mining, oil and gas contract documents.  

The EITI, which was set up to increase transparency, aims to improve the way revenues from oil, gas and minerals are managed to ensure that people across the world share in the economic benefits of the natural resources in their countries.

This includes how licenses and contracts are allocated and registered, who the beneficial owners of those operations are, what the fiscal and legal arrangements are, how much is produced, how much is paid, where the revenue is allocated, and its contributions to the economy, including employment.

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But, the stakeholders disclosed that despite the fact that EITI implementing countries have ratified the required EITI standards, they were yet to fully abide by the agreement.

Addressing the participants, the Chairman of Tanzania Extractive Industries (Transparency and Accountability) committee Mr Ludovick Utouh disclosed that  Tanzania has disclosed only nine Profit Sharing Agreements (PSA) in Oil and Gas, citing that the government was yet to disclose the contract documents in mining sector.

Mr Utouh who is also the former Controller and Auditor General (CAG) further disclosed that   Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) is the only EITI implementing county that has disclosed about 145 contract documents which are the Concession Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements, Service Contracts, Memorandum of Understandings, and Profit-Sharing Agreements in oil, gas and mining sectors.

"We have seen fightings in Nigeria, Angola, and many other countries, attributable to the non-disclosure of the extractive industries contracts documents, " said Mr Utouh.

He added: "The citizens have the right to know how the natural resources in their respective countries are managed."