- Published on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 19:16
- Written by ORTON KIISHWEKO
- Hits: 524
ACTIVISTS have called for the suspension of the fourth deep-sea gas exploration licensing round until laws and policies guiding the sector are updated and clear development strategies and sound revenue management frameworks are in place.
Civil organizations made the impassioned call in Dar es Salaam, noting that while this process was temporarily stopped recently, they want the suspension of the bidding process until the above frameworks are firm in place.The organizations that made the call include Sikika, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) and Hakielimu.
"We call for the suspension of the bidding process, sustainable development begins with the end in mind. Therefore, we need to begin by putting our house in order instead of initiating the licensing process," said Sikika Executive Director, Mr Irenei Kiria.
He said that Tanzania will only benefit from these valuable resources if the government formulates clear and transparent sector laws and policies that are implemented by strong and effective regulatory institutions.Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) recently said that delays of the fourth deep-sea licensing round are due to "some technical and housekeeping reasons."
TPDC Managing Director, Mr Yona Killagane said early this month that the round will be pushed up to November 2012 at the earliest, if the parliament approves a new natural gas policy during its October session.September road shows in Houston and Singapore have been postponed, but events in London (22-23 October) and Arusha (6-8 February 2013) remain.
Yesterday, Mr Kiria said prospective windfall revenues need to be administered by a sound financial management framework and integrated into a comprehensive and development strategy that is compatible with the nation's macro-economic perspective.
"Therefore reviewing of the whole value chain of gas and oil exploration, from the awarding of contracts and licences, the regulation and monitoring of operations, the collection of taxes and royalties and implementation of sustainable development policies and projects must be supported by a transparent and participatory process," he said.
They also called for wider and meaningful consultations between the government, parliament, the private sector and civil societies.They noted that the role of every local actor should be defined in the sector law, separating commercial activities from the state regulatory functions.
When properly defined, they claimed, local content obligations improve the project's economic and social benefits and help minimize their long term risks.