Africa Oil Governance report launched
Some of the issues include policy and regulatory, transparency, accountability and corruption,
The report highlights the governance efforts of African oil producing countries and to provide information on the gaps existing in their governance frameworks; thereby serving as a wake-up call for African governments to strengthen their resource governance policies, systems and institutions.
The report provides alternative solutions for efficient and transparent management of oil and gas resources in Africa.
The report funded by the Education for Development and Oxfam America identifies key governance challenges that confront African oil and gas producers and how such challenges could be addressed through policy, legal and institutional interventions.
Ms Linda Ahunu, ACEP Policy Analyst said 18 African oil-producing countries were selected based on their membership of the African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA).
APPA is an organisation of resource-endowed African oil producing countries, which aims to promote common policy initiatives in all facets of the petroleum industry in order to maximise the developmental benefits accruable from petroleum exploitation activities.
She said the report was necessitated following recommendations from the maiden Africa Oil Governance Summit, held in November 2015, for a systematic tracking of the progress made by African oil and gas producers on oil and gas governance in line with the Communiqué from the Summit.
She said the report assesses the efforts of the APPA member countries against 11 selected governance indicators based on data sourced from their legal frameworks including national constitutions and petroleum laws.
The report finds that APPA member countries have made some commendable efforts to govern their petroleum resources. However, more effort is required as issues of beneficial ownership disclosure and mandatory contract disclosure among others remain unsatisfactory.
She noted that the highlights of the report’s major findings include the need for African governments to increase the adoption of open and competitive bidding process for the award of oil and gas rights, and ensure mandatory disclosure of oil and gas contracts.
Also the findings revealed that, there should be mandatory disclosure of beneficial ownership continues to remain a challenge among African oil producing countries and there is increasing adoption of public accountability institutions among African oil producing countries.
The report recommended that African governments should optimize the benefits from oil and gas exploration through a combination of fiscal and non-fiscal reforms, specifically by stopping unnecessary tax concessions, applying optimal fiscal terms that match specific conditions pertaining to different blocks and maximize local content initiatives.
It also recommended that African governments should develop comprehensive resource revenue management frameworks, extensive disclosure requirements and productive investment choices based on long-term national development and public investment plans developed through broad consultation.
Mr Ian Gary, Associate Policy Director at Oxfam America, said Africa has vast petroleum resources which when utilised efficiently, could accelerate economic growth and development and translating natural resource wealth into sustainable development depends on good governance.
He said African governments should build a transparent regime for licensing of oil concessions. In particular, governments should adopt open and competitive bidding processes, mandatory disclosure of contracts, disclosure of beneficial ownership information and provision of anti-corruption clauses that penalize companies and public officials involved in corruptly facilitating the acquisition of licences.