SLEITI engages media, CSOs on 2015-2016 reports

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October 26, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

sleiti

Sierra Leone Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (SLEITI) on Wednesday  engaged civil society groups and the media on the country’s 2015-2016 reports to the EITI Board.

According to SLEITI’s Finance and Administration Manager Annie Lansana, the main rationale behind the EITI was to ensure transparency and accountability in the extractive industry.

She stated that it was late former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah who first embraced the EITI process in 2006, paving the way for Sierra Leone to become a member that same year. She added that the main focus of the EITI was reporting on what is paid to and received by government in the extractive sector.

“The 2016 standards focus on not just what is paid or received by government but also on community benefit. The standard also focuses on beneficial ownership and a road map has been developed in that direction. We now have a beneficial ownership committee which includes the Anti-Corruption Commission, the media, civil society and office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice,” Ms. Lansana said.

Also, Communications Officer at SLEITI, Mohamed Fernando Conteh gave an historical background to the EITI process which has established a global standard to promote open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.

He said the EITI standard requires the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain from how extraction rights are awarded to how revenues make their way through the government, and how they benefit the public.

“By doing so, the EITI seeks to strengthen public and corporate governance, promote understanding of natural resource management, and provide the data to inform reforms for greater transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. In each of the 51 implementing countries, the EITI is supported by a coalition of government, companies and civil society,” Conteh said.

On her part, the National Coordinator urged the media and civil society to advance the agenda of transparency and accountability, data analysss, advocacy, sensitisation, whistle blowing, monitoring and oversight.

According to her, the extractive sector decision chain – transforming oil, gas and mineral wealth to sustainable development – requires a complete chain of economic decision and strong foundation of good governance.