Management of oil revenues is a matter for everyone, says president of Sao Tome and Principe

30 October 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 30 Oct – The president of Sao Tome and Principe, Fradique de Menezes, Monday called on the population of the archipelago to be vigilant of the management of oil revenues, which should be used for the country’s development.

Menezes was speaking at the opening of a regional meeting on management and transparency in the use of oil funds, which has brought together around 30 delegates from several organizations and Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom and Sao Tome and Principe.

The regional meeting, organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), by British non-governmental organization International Alert and by the international coalition “Publish what you Pay,” mainly aims to boost the capacity of civil society to deal with issues related to good management and transparent use of funds from oil.

Menezes noted that “it is civil society itself that should organize itself to be able to discuss this issue of national interest and good use of the country’s money.”

After providing a summary of the Sao Tome oil exploration process, which began over a decade again, Menezes noted there had been several “technical errors,” that had harmed national interests during negotiations with foreign companies due to a lack of qualified staff in the oil industry.

As well as its exclusive area, Sao Tome and Principe also has a joint exploration area with Nigeria based on a treaty stating that Nigeria receives 60 percent of revenues while 40 percent goes to Sao Tome. (macauhub)