The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) team leader from the prime ministry, Mr. Sylvanus Shulika Binla and his team members have schooled the University Of Buea students on what they stand to benefit from the initiative.
This was during a one day seminar at U-block G of the university that took recently. EITI is an international norm that promotes transparency and good governance in the extractive sector in member countries. This exercise is being realized with the cooperation of government, extractive companies/industries, civil society groups, investors and international organizations.
On instructions from the president of the Republic, Cameroon joined EITI in 2005 at the Lancaster conference in London. This was primarily to reverse the paradox of plenty. That is, having many resources and lacking them. It is against this back drop that the EITI committee in Yaoundé sent a team to the south west to drill the population in general and UB students in particular since they are leaders of tomorrow.
While presenting the 2009/2010 findings of the initiative on petroleum and other mines, Mr. Nkoun Marcel Felix, member of the EITI team said in 2009, 57,973,728 billion FCFA entered states coffers from mining and petroleum activities and in 2010, 554,907,786 billion FCFA entered the states coffers. These revelations prove that the state counts much on the revenue from the oil sector, which before 2005 never declared the amount given to the state.
After five years of implementing the EITI process in Cameroon, the committee decided to undertake a validation process for Cameroon to attain the “complaint state” status according to the principles and criteria of the initiative. This exercise was conducted and the report submitted to EITI, board of directors for scrutiny at Dar Es Salam in 2010, London, Paris and Jakarta in 2011. But these efforts ended in a fiasco, depriving Cameroon of a complaint country status.
Following Cameroon’s non compliance in 2011, the EITI board has given Cameroon the chance to attempt another validation exercise in august 13, 2013 or risk being expelled from the initiative. The non attainment of “complaint status” by Cameroon was because of poor declaration of revenue by the extractive sector, absence of independent conciliators to treat discrepancies in reports produced and published by the committee, the absence of informative and communication support documents and the limitation of communication to Yaoundé and some elites.
An EITI club was formed in the university of Buea with as presindent Nsonyi Amstrong, assited by nine executive members. The club will have as main activity to sensitise the youths on importance of know the methods of aquiring and spending of mining revenue in Cameroon
The campaign has now come to the grassroots in order to surmount the challenges. The EITI seminar in UB ended with the formation of the EITI club with the dean of the faculty of engineering, Prof. Tanyi Emmanuel to oversee the activities of the club by playing a middleman role between the club and the EITI committee in Yaoundé chaired by the minister of finance, Alamin Usman Mey.