MPs in fresh push for Uganda to join EITI

By Billy Rwothungeyo

Added 15th June 2017 09:19 AM

“We are going to introduce an amendment that Uganda becomes a candidate of EITI," says MP Theodore Sekikuubo.

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PIC: Lyemiyaga MP Theodore Sekikuubo chairs the Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas


KAMPALA - Ugandan MPs under the Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas have restarted the push to have Uganda join the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

EITI is a global forum that pushes for more transparency in countries’ dealings in the oil, gas and mining sectors.

Despite initial promise to join the initiative, government has snubbed the forum which has over 41 countries — instead arguing that the Public Finance Management Act 2015 is versatile enough to curb any potential abuse of resources from the extractives industry.

“We are going to introduce an amendment that Uganda becomes a candidate of EITI. There are several stages a country has to go through, from being a candidate until you qualify,” said Lyemiyaga MP Theodore Sekikuubo.

Sekikuubo, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas, made the remarks Wednesday at a policy reform dialogue organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Uganda in Kampala.

“EITI is very important. There is a big danger of misusing these resources. Under the EITI, as a country, you must be in partnership with other countries; you must be peer reviewing each other. Are you transparent enough?”

Government’s commitment to transparency in the extractives industry has often come under doubt because of Uganda’s reluctance to join EITI.

The first ever annual development scorecard for the extractives industry released in December 2016 noted that the lack of clarification of Environmental Impact Assessments and Social Impact Assessment (SIA), the failure of the subsector to join the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) are still black spots in the subsector.

In 2015, international NGO Global Witness said the Public Finance Management Act alone is not enough to ensure transparency in the extractives industry.

“It is important to note that the EITI is both a standard and a process. It provides a comprehensive framework for multi-stakeholder review and validation of extractive industry information and reports at a national level with support from the international secretariat and board. It also helps develop strong national institutions and processes,” said a briefing.

“As such, enacting relevant national legislation is not a substitute for joining the initiative. That said national legislation should be harmonised with the requirements of the EITI standard regardless.

"Much of the standard is concerned with the quality of reporting and the process of validation.”



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