Opposition Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources say that the move by the government, particularly the Ministry of Natural resources, to extend a late invitation for them to be part of an important seminar for the oil sector was done as “after-thought designed to assuage the international agencies and the diplomatic corps that the government appears to be inclusive.”
See full statement below:
Members on the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources received a very late invitation from the Minister of Natural Resources on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, to attend a two day seminar on “Governance for the Petroleum Sector- Preparing for First Oil” commencing on Thursday November 17, 2016.
Since this seminar, according to the invitation, is being organised by the Ministry in collaboration with Chatham House, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Natural Resources Governance Institute, preparation for this event would have taken place over several months. Certainly majority of the Government members (mostly Ministers) on the Committee would have had previous knowledge of this activity.
In fact, the Minister of Natural Resources was reported in the media on October 14, 2015, as saying that this seminar would be held in November 2016.
We, the four (4) opposition members- Odinga Lumumba, Pauline Sukhai, Yvonne Pearson and Neil Kumar believe that this invitation is an “after-thought” designed to assuage the international agencies and the diplomatic corps that the government appears to be inclusive. In the light of this slight to the Members of Parliament, we call on the government to stop dilly dallying and urgently join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ETTI). The former government had committed to join this after the 2015 elections as this Initiative was recognised as a critical step towards enhanced transparency and accountability in the natural resources sector, a sector which globally has been recognised as prone to corruption.