Descendants of Kambia and Port Loko Districts are the first to benefit from the 2011 Report Dissemination and Nationwide Sensitization on the EITI Process.
During these meetings, the Communications Officer of SLEITI Josephine Saidu reiterated that one of the main objectives of the EITI is to develop a framework for transparency and accountability in reporting and disclosure of payments and revenues by all extractive companies and government entities. She said that SLEITI's mission is to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in extractive sector. The Communications Officer noted that the purpose of the meeting is to present to the indigenes of these two districts the details of the 2011 Reconciliation Report in order to generate public debate that will inform policy decision. She encouraged all present to make meaningful contribution during the debating sessions as their contributions are key to the EITI implementation in Sierra Leone. Ms Saidu stated that the government of Sierra Leone, the companies, civil society organization and development partners are very much committed in ensuring the successful implementation of the process and admonished participants to help disseminate the message to their people at chiefdom levels pointing out that the mineral resources of the country is an engine of economic growth and sustainable development.
Mines Monitoring Officer in Kambia, Joseph Kabbia thanked the SLEITI Team for hosting such a meeting in these districts. He said such an initiative will strengthen transparency and accountability in the extractive sector, stating that one of the reasons of the 11 year civil war was due to the mismanagement and selfishness on our natural resources. He appealed to the participant of all the citizens of this nation to put selfishness aside and embrace each other in other to push this nation forward. The Mines Monitoring Officer encouraged extractive s companies to pay their dues and comply with the EITI standards.
Presenting the 2011 EITI Reconciliation Report in Kambia and Port Loko Districts, the Chairman for the National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives Dr Mustapha Thomas spoke on the New EITI Standards which now requires contextual information in all subsequent EITI Reconciliation Reports. Minerals he said should be properly managed and monitored as they gradually fade away and if such initiatives are not effectively implemented, the people will never benefit from the revenues they generate. Dr Thomas informed his audience that the oil and gas contributed more that the mining sector and that the government reported more that the companies. Total revenue reported by government was $ 27,621,406 whilst the companies reported $ 26,293,142 living a discrepancy of $ 1,328,265 which was due to 6 companies' failure to report. This he noted is a sign of government's commitment to ensure transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. The report shows that African minerals tops the other 20 mining companies with a contribution of $ 2,358,983. Moyamba District Council received the highest surface rent payment and H M Diamond made the highest contribution among the dealers and exporters contributing $ 1,708,283 to the extractive revenue kitty.
Paramount Chiefs and local authorities in attendance lauded the effort of government and the Multi-Stakeholder Group for the progress made so far in implementing the EITI. Special reference was made to the 4 unmet requirements which they hoped have been addressed as required by the international secretariat and hoped that this time round Sierra Leone will achieve compliance. They pledged their commitment in spreading the message about the EITI and hoped that such initiative will be sustained.
Next portfolio call is Kono District.