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Sierra Leoneans' revenues from natural resources: 1 dollar per year

Latest EITI report reveals that revenues from oil and mining remain low.

Sierra Leone’s second EITI report published 24 September reveals the government received a total of US $18.5 million in revenues in the years 2008 to 2010. With a population of nearly 6 million, this equals about US $1 per citizen per year.

The report shows that the revenues in 2008-2010 from 19 companies operating in the extractive industry stem from minerals such as gold, diamonds, bauxite, iron ore and rutile and oil. The oil sector reported for the first time in 2008, accounting for 18 per cent of the total revenues from the extractive sector from 2008-2010.

Despite years of civil war and fighting over natural resources, the extractives sector is a small part of the Sierra Leonean economy. In 2010, the revenues from the sector accounted for just over 2 per cent of the total exports and 0.35 per cent of the GDP in 2010.

EITI reports show that the revenues from the sector are low and have not increased in the period from 2006 to 2010. The 2006 and 2007 reports show revenues of US $7.7m and US $10.6m respectively, compared to an average of $6m per year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In the meantime the economy expanded more than 35 per cent from 2005 to 2011, as reported in the World Bank statistics.

The Ghanaian reconciliation firm, Boas and Associates, also established that companies declared payments for the corresponding period of a total of US $21.8 million. Discrepancies were mainly identified in the year 2008 (in which there was a difference of 32 per cent) with discrepancies reducing to 8 per cent in 2010. The reconciler Boas and Associates explained that these discrepancies were due to the difficulty of reconciling across a number of currencies. Additionally, the report found that there was no proper documentation to support some material payments.

For further information about EITI in Sierra Leone, please visit the country page or contact Regional Director Francisco Paris.

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