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Transparency International Statement on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative London Conference

TI welcomes Cameroonian commitment made at London EITI Conference but also calls on companies operating in the country to publish oil payments

Transparency International (TI) welcomes the commitment made by Cameroon before the international community today to publish its oil revenues under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In a speech delivered at the EITI Conference in London yesterday, Mr Abah Abah Polycarpe, Cameroon's Minister of Economy and Finance, pledged that before the end of June of this year, his government would begin publishing on a quarterly basis information on total oil production, prices and revenue.

Akere Muna, founder and President of Transparency International Cameroon and member of TI's International Board, said 'I heartily commend the government for its bold commitment.' He continued, 'This opens up excellent opportunities for civil society to function as an honest monitor. We are open to collaborating with the government on this and are optimistic about the impact of this new commitment to transparency.'

TI Chairman, Peter Eigen, called the pledge 'a great step', adding that he was 'very encouraged by the unequivocal commitment that Cameroon has made so publicly.' Pointing to the Cameroonian minister's goal of getting oil companies to publish the details of their production sharing agreements, Eigen continued, 'While we are delighted at each new government that signs onto the EITI, we believe that corruption in the petrochemical sector can only be beaten when corporations also get serious about transparency. We need to tackle both the supply and the demand of corruption.'

Transparency International, through its UK chapter, was a founding member of the civil society coalition, Publish What You Pay (PWYP), which now comprises around 250 NGOs worldwide. The coalition campaigns for the mandatory disclosure of taxes, fees, royalties and other payments by oil, mining and gas companies to governments and other public agencies. Only when the sums being paid by oil companies are compared against the amounts being received and spent by governments will irregularities be successfully identified and prevented.

Transparency International expresses its hope that this positive signal will inspire other governments to follow suit. But the hard work has only just begun; Cameroon must now prove that it is serious about the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

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