The statement pointed out that “Sierra Leone still relies heavily on mining revenues which creates an urgency to build a shared sense of direction in the management of the sector; and that despite the reported revenue leakages there are still opportunities to maximize income from the sector through the EITI”.
Owing to the government’s firm commitment to fully implement the EITI process and to ensure Sierra Leone remains compliant, the statement further noted that the production of the country’s 2014 Reconciliation Report – due for publication in December 2016 – was underway and that
the exercise was being funded by the Government of Sierra Leone. The report, according to the statement, should be of high quality “that is worthy of submission” during validation in 2017.
The Chief of Staff encouraged all stakeholders to fully engage themselves during the deliberations, while at the same time calling on mining companies, civil society, government, and parliament to support the EITI process.
“The modules designed for the two-day workshop were successfully discussed,” said one of the participants. The modules included ‘Changes to the EITI Standards’; ‘Extractive Sector Benchmarking Exercise’, ‘Beneficial Ownership Disclosure’, ‘Mining and Illicit Economy’, among others.
Seasoned academicians and experts knowledgeable about the country’s extractive industries led the deliberations. The workshop also spent significant time reviewing the SLEITI 2016-2018 work plan; a document which the Chief of Staff described as “a three-year plan with many other activities lined up for implementation in accordance with the timelines set”.
Mohamed Amara Salisu, an MSG member representing the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, gave an overview of the document.
According to him, the work plan consists of six specific objectives: improving extractive governance in Sierra Leone; improved extractive revenue management; strengthen legal and regulatory frameworks for governance of the extractive industries; enhance stakeholder capacity;
enhance SLEITI’s capacity to better achieve its objectives; and to mobilise support to enhance citizen’s ownership of the EITI in Sierra Leone.
The National Coordinator of SLEITI, Mina Horace, described the workshop as successful, noting that the Secretariat will take urgent steps to finalise the work plan and at the same time work assiduously to implement the recommendations of the workshop.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of NACE, Cecilia Mattia, thanked the ADB for funding the workshop and briefed participants on the core objectives of the workshop.
She also used the occasion to inform all that the workshop was the first of two workshops designed to achieve similar objectives. Presentations were made by Dr. Mustapha Thomas on the topic the Road to compliance with EITI Principles, Herbert McLeod on Mining and Illicit Economy, and Daniel Gbondo on Sierra Leone Extractive Benchmarking Sector.