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Government remains vague on EITI

Maria Kiwanuka

Maria Kiwanuka (center) addresses the conference. The event was also attended by Uganda’s Second Deputy Ombudsperson, Mariam Wangadya (left) and The High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Edwards (Right)

The Oil in Uganda Transparency Conference ended yesterday in Kampala, with government officials remaining hesitant to make a solid commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Finance Minister, Maria Kiwanuka, however assured delegates that government was “still at the preparation stages.”

“I cannot go into a narrow checklist but EITI is on the government menu, it is something that is happening but I am very sorry I cannot give dates and time now,” she said.

“It is never too late to join the EITI. The US just joined in 2013, some other countries had just joined the year before,” noted Hon. Kiwanuka.

Giving a presentation on government’s preparedness to embrace transparency in the oil sector, Hon. Kiwanuka revealed that there were plans to enforce transparency beyond the basic requirements of EITI.

“Government is in discussion and in fact we had proposed to take it further to have the oil and mining companies, apart from disclosing the revenues they pay to governments, have their accounts available for scrutiny on their websites in the interest of transparency.”

The half day conference, under the theme Getting It Right From the Start, brought together different stakeholders in Uganda’s oil sector, to discuss the importance of transparency and accountability in the equitable management of Uganda’s oil and gas sector.

Report by FN