Lack of transparency in mining creates opportunity for corruption
“The mining industry is one of Namibia’s main sources of economic development. The process starting with the allocation of exploration licences must be above board. When natural resources are prudently used, poverty can be alleviated. This is indeed one of the principles of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI),” said Paulus Noa, Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
He said, zero tolerance for corruption would be meaningless if it is not accompanied by integrated anti-corruption measures that are adopted in the laws, regulations and policies, with more transparency and greater civic participation.
“Anti-corruption measures must be built into all development programmes and planning processes. Zero tolerance for corruption demands transparency to all citizens on the revenue streams by extractive industry companies and also public expenditure,” he added.
He further said that Namibia can not afford the typical immoral practices [in extraction] when the majority of the citizens are wallowing in abject poverty, and that this may be the case when the public is not made aware of the names of the people who are issued with exploration licenses and mining rights.
“It can not be disputed that natural resources ought to first and foremost benefit the citizenry. Some multinational companies have used different illicit strategies like tax evasion or mispricing tactics to siphon out of developing countries untaxed profits of million of dollars. This is attributed to lack of transparency in the manner that some of the multinational companies do business under the pretext of investment of course in collusion with a few senior officials in those countries,” he said.
British High Commissioner, H.E. Mrs Marianne Young, said, The report and the topics addressed are of high importance to my government as it fits in perfectly with the UK’s current G8 “Triple T” agenda: Addressing and advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater corporate transparency.
“I believe it is also worth mentioning the significant involvement of British companies in the extractive industries in Namibia. Most of the companies who form part of the British Business Group in Namibia operate in this sector, whether in mining, oil or gas,” she added.