Government says hidden ownership of mining operations in the country is a breeding ground for illicit financial flows and , which must be quickly addressed.
ZANIS reports that the Ministry of Mines says the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) framework being implemented in the country will quickly help identify beneficial owners of mines in Zambia.
Acting Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Chipilauka Mukofu said identifying beneficial owners of mines attracts credible investors to the sector and enhances transparent and accountable utilisation of proceeds from extractive industries.
Speaking last night at a reception where he addressed local and international Extractive Industry stakeholders in Lusaka, Mr Mukofu observed that Zambia’s membership of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), requires that the country should disclose the identity of owners of mining companies.
He said government is working round the clock with stakeholders to ensure that it complies with the international requirement of disclosing beneficial owners of mining operations in Zambia by January 2020 deadline.
The Permanent Secretary said hidden ownership has been a challenge as it undermines effective mobilisation of domestic revenues from natural resources, due to corruption and illicit financial flows.
Mr Mukofu urged government agencies and other stakeholders to partner and collaborate in the implementation of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative as it will help combat tax evasion and improve the business climate.
The Permanent Secretary pointed out that, according to the 2015 report of the high level panel on illicit financial flows, Africa loses about US$65 million annually, due to unlawful financial movements.
He disclosed that Zambia, along with Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal have made great strides in championing transparency in the ownership mining, gas and oil sectors.
And EITI International Secretariat Policy Director Ines Schjolberg Marques noted that implementation of the initiative in Zambia will greatly help government assess and collect the right amount of taxes from extractive industries, which can be equitably ploughed, to meet the social economic needs of Zambians.