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SLEITI Presents 2016 Report Findings to Stakeholders in Freetown

SLEITI Secretariat , 27th May 2019:  The Minister of State Vice President's Office, who also doubles as the SLEITI Multi-stakeholder Group Chair, Francess Piagie Alghali, has described the EITI process as "useful in helping the government achieve its agenda of transforming the economy of Sierra Leone". 

Madam Alghali was speaking at a forum organised by the SLEITI Multi-stakeholder Group (MSG) at the Buxton Memorial Hall on Thursday 16th May 2019 to discuss the specific findings and recommendations of the 2016 EITI report and the provisional data containing the contribution of the extractive sector to the country's total export and GDP of the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

Citing government's continued commitment, the Minister said President Julius Maada Bio has demonstrated a lot of interest in the EITI process, referencing the President's consistent public statements about the EITI. She said the Office of the Vice President has been steadfast in providing direction and oversight of the process since June 2018.

In her capacity as MSG Chair, the Minister acknowledged the support of the World Bank Group in funding the production of the 2016 report, as well as the 2017 and 2018 reports for which the procurement of the Independent Administrator was in progress. The Minister emphasized the need for regular publication of extractive revenues and payments to allow for timely debate on the management of the sector. 

Speaking on the EITI requirements, the SLEITI National Coordinator, Mina Horace said "Public understanding of government revenues and expenditures over time can help public debate and inform the choice of appropriate and realistic options for sustainable development". 

Madam Horace said the EITI requires reports that are comprehensible, actively promoted, publicly accessible, and contribute to public debate, adding that the mining sector in Sierra Leone is considered to be the leading driver of economic growth, with particular reference to employment creation, revenue generation, foreign exchange earnings and contribution to GDP.

There were significant findings and recommendations in the 2016 report, notably among which is that corporate tax from the extractive industries in 2016 amounted to US$276,700 paid by diamond exporters only. There was no corporate tax payment in 2016 from operating mining companies. The report added. 

On fiscal issues, the report holds that a review of the agreements published by the National Minerals Agency (NMA) indicates that there are stability clauses especially regarding royalty and corporate income tax rates; the rates also differ among companies for which the report calls on the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the NMA to establish fiscal terms that are uniform for all contracts. In addition to the findings and recommendations, the report further reveals that out of ten mining companies that met the reporting threshold of $170 Million, only six reported. 

The 2016 EITI report is the 7th report Sierra Leone has published since signing up in to the initiative in 2006. The scope of the SLEITI report covers the oil, gas and mineral sectors.