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‘Oil Exploitation Doesn’t Guarantee Ndian Road Construction’

Posted by Admin on Sep 26th, 2010 and filed under Economie, Régions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Finance Minister, Essimi Menye, says the fact that oil is exploited from Ndian Division, Southwest Region, is no guarantee that government must construct roads in that area.
Essimi Menye made the statement in a press conference in Yaounde last week after launching the communication phase of the Follow-Up Technical Committee of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, in Cameroon.

When asked why Ndian Division does not have a good road whereas government has exploited oil there for over 30 years, the Minister said the oil was not enough and that oil exploitation was no guarantee for road construction in the area. The Minister equated the idea of oil production to that coffee and cocoa production. He said his native village in Lekie Division of the Centre Region, has been producing several thousand tons of cocoa for many decades, but does not have a good road.

He said oil has never been a major source of revenue in Cameroon and that government does not rely on it for the execution of its development projects. Rather, coffee and cocoa production stirs economic growth in the country. He revealed that research is on going and that until oil is discovered again, Cameroon cannot still consider oil as it main sources of revenue.

Going by him, Cameroon gets more revenue from taxes and custom duties than from oil. The Minister was speaking also in his capacity as Chairman of the Follow-up Committee of the EITI in Cameroon. Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair launched the initiative in 2002. According to its promoters, the initiative is aimed at reducing poverty in countries that are endowed with enormous natural resources.

The creation of the initiative was an attempt by the international community to ensure transparency in the management of revenue accruing from mineral resources. It was also a tacit appeal to authorities to make sure proceeds from mineral resources are used for development.

Cameroon joined the initiative in 2005 in a bid to pride itself as one of the countries committed to managing proceeds from mineral resources in a transparent manner. The validation report the committee presented to the various stakeholders in Yaounde last week, is expected to confirm that Cameroon has hearkened to the conditions of the initiative. It is giving out information as far as the management of oil from the exploitation of petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, gold and diamond is concerned.

It is reported that the successful implementation of EITI can lead to many benefits for Cameroon, especially in relation to economic growth and poverty reduction. It equally aims to strengthen good governance by improving transparency and accountability throughout the value chain of extractive sector. The Coordinator of the NGO, Publish What You Pay in Cameroon, Bernard Ndongmo, told The Post that the report was replete with discrepancies about what companies said they have paid in, and what government claims to have received.

By Yerima Kini Nsom|September 26, 2010|The Postonline|

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