- Dr Earnest Rubondo, the Petroleum Authority executive director, while speaking about the signing of the EITI, said it was not clear whether government was to follow the EITI requirements in the mineral sector.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard that promotes open and accountable management of natural resources. It seeks to strengthen government and company systems, inform public debate, and enhance trust.
EITI began In 2003 and it now has 46 member countries from the West and Africa. The initiative is a result of coalition of activists from NGOs, governments led by UK and a group of energy and mining companies that endorsed a set of principles, which became known as the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).
In each implementing country, it is supported by a coalition of governments, companies and civil society working together. EITI is transparency and accountability mechanism, where oil and mining companies publish what they have paid to governments and in turn, governments publish how much they have received from oil companies.
This arrangement enables interested citizens and other stakeholders to monitor how much money the government is making from the exploitation of the country’s natural resources and if the funds are being put to proper use.
Dr Earnest Rubondo, the Petroleum Authority executive director, while speaking about the signing of the EITI, said it was not clear whether government was to follow the EITI requirements in the mineral sector. However, for the oil and gas sector, it will not be difficult for the Petroleum Authority to ensure accountability and transparency as per the EITI requirements. This statement allows room for loopholes in the systems of both oil and gas and the mineral sectors, hence an obstacle to making Uganda rise to a middle-income status.
Recently, the President said the government has contracted companies to carry out mineral exploration, which is now being implemented.
We already have areas where mining is being done and all we see is Ugandans losing to the investors in the mining industry as the ecosystem is being destroyed, income generated is repatriated, leaving such areas with no schools, healthcare facilities, seducing the would be school going children to work in the mines, hence a strong need for the government to be vigilant on the mineral sector as well.