August 2015 News and Analysis From NRGI

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Next Week: NRGI at International Anti-Corruption Conference in Malaysia
On Thursday, 3 September, NRGI experts will speak at three sessions of the IACC meetings in Kuala Lumpur. NRGI president Daniel Kaufmann will join a plenary conversation on the role of anti-corruption and transparency in the fight against poverty. It will be webcast beginning at 1400 MYT (0700 BST). In another session, hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank, Mr. Kaufmann will weigh in on transparent governance in Latin America. Early in the day, NRGI governance programs director Alexandra Gillies will chair a discussion on the mechanics of corruption in the extractive industries.

Despite Gains, Corruption in Latin America Hinders Development at the Regional, Country Levels
In this piece published today in Finance & Development, Daniel Kaufmann outlines the wide networks of corruption in the region. He writes that Latin America has seen progress in macroeconomic management, but lags in government effectiveness, rule of law and corruption control, and that transparency reform is essential as citizens are no longer willing to tolerate impunity and "the privatization of public policy." A Spanish-language version of the article is also available.

Inside NNPC Oil Sales: A Case For Reform in Nigeria
This NRGI report offers the first in-depth, independent analysis of how Nigeria’s state-owned oil company sells its crude. The main body of the report describes how oil sale practices have worsened since 2010, largely through the expansion (and abuse) of makeshift measures introduced to work around NNPC's fundamental problems. The report also includes annexes on oil-for-fuel swaps, government-to-government sales, and the country's troubled domestic crude allocation.


Owning Up: Options for Disclosing the Identities of Beneficial Owners of Extractive Companies
The true owners of extractive companies are sometimes difficult to pin down. This briefing provides useful background information about why ownership structures matter and explores options countries can use to identify, publicize and leverage information about the owners of oil, gas and mining companies.

In Ghana, Fiscal Responsibility Remains Elusive Even as Oil Flows
In the Financial Times' This is Africa, NRGI economic analyst Mark Evans writes that Ghana remains ill-equipped to manage swings in commodity prices and to use its resource revenues into meaningful development outcomes. Even as $500 million was saved in the country's petroleum funds, public debt increased 60 percent to $18 billion. Evans argues that the country could enshrine fiscal rules in legislation and limit recurrent expenditure growth.

Extractive Industries Data Ecosystem: A Database of Available Tools for the Sector
NRGI is not alone in its efforts to promote the use of data for advocacy, decision-making and, ultimately, governance. Myriad web portals, projects and data tools exist, and these instruments have now been catalogued in an NRGI directory, making it easier than ever to compare projects and access tools.

Resource Governance Index Recruiting Researchers and Peer Reviewers for 2016 Edition
Next year's iteration of the index will cover 79 countries. It will require the careful work of researchers, who can find a full description of the role and a list of requirements here.

Spotlight on Data
In Inside NNPC Oil Sales, readers will find much data on the Nigerian state oil company. The chart below shows the extent to which NNPC retained its revenues, rather than forwarding them to the country’s treasury.

Reported domestic crude sales versus treasury receipts, 2004-2013:

Cheap Oil Comes With Pros and Cons for Tunisia and Egypt
During the oil boom years earlier this decade, rising petroleum subsidies in importing countries such as Tunisia and Egypt were a constant strain on budgets—and so the collapse in oil prices has produced nuanced challenges for state-owned oil enterprises (SOEs) in both countries.

What to Watch for at NNPC
Nigeria's president recently announced former ExxonMobil executive Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as head of NNPC. In this blog, NRGI's Alexandra Gillies charts possible new directions for reform.

Amidst Government Response to Terror, Tunisia's Extractives CSOs Struggle to Maintain Gains in Voice and Transparency
Recent tragic events in Tunisia have altered the equation for civil society. Two major terrorist attacks have provoked a strong response from the government, and well-meaning civil society actors may suffer as a result.

Falling Prices Accentuate Structural Weaknesses in Venezuela
When we think about the “resource curse,” one oft-cited example is oil-rich Venezuela. Despite copious petroleum reserves, people in one of Latin America's top hydrocarbon producers queue for hours outside supermarkets to buy staple foods, and now cite food shortages as a bigger concern than crime.

Natural Resource Charter Informs Multi-Stakeholder EITI Process as Myanmar Extractive Reform Begins
Myanmar’s citizens have the potential to benefit from the country’s endowments of oil, gas, and gems, but governance of these industries has been historically problematic and so many actors are pushing for change. Last month, NRGI staff began working with EITI stakeholders in Myanmar on a new project that will use the Natural Resource Charter to help build consensus on priorities for extractive industries reform.

Transparency Beyond the Basics: Ghana EITI to Step Up Efforts in Beneficial Ownership Disclosure
Opacity and clandestine relationships with government officials exacerbate the risks that beneficial owners of some extractive companies could easily engage in tax evasion, transfer pricing, trade mispricing, bribery, contract fraud and money laundering. This blog explores attempts in Ghana to unmask true, "beneficial" owners.

Civil Society Actors in Francophone Africa Take a Deeper Look at State-Owned Enterprises
Extractive industry governance and the role of state-owned enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa are squarely in the spotlight after three huge scandals.

A Kazakh Official Discusses EITI
NRGI’s regional office in Eurasia brought together more than 25 multi-stakeholder group members from five countries for a collaborative training session on analysis of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report data. Here, one participant shares her perspectives.


Fiscal Negotiations Affected by Low Oil Prices
Carole Nakhle, founder of advisory group Crystol Energy, discusses the changing contractual and fiscal environment for producer countries – particularly in the MENA region – amid a lengthy oil slump.

Lower Oil Price Brings Mixed Results for an Indonesia in Transition
Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, the head of the performance management unit in Indonesia's ministry of energy and natural resources, discusses the significance of economic reform under new President Joko Widodo, building generation capacity, renewable energy development, and scrapping fuel subsidies.

NRGI in the News and Around the Web
Bloomberg View: It's Often a Curse to Be Blessed With Commodities

Forbes: Nigeria Must Reform Oil Sales to Curb Corruption -- report

AFP: Nigerians impatient for oil sector anti-graft reforms

The Economist: Petrodollar spill

Bloomberg: In Hunt For Missing Billions, Buhari Targets Nigeria Company; Nigeria to Lose Billions Without Oil Sales Reforms, Report Says

Premium Times (Nigeria): NNPC Reassigns Head of Crude Sales

International Business Times: Nigeria State Oil Company Withholding Billions, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation's Sale Practices Worsen: Report

Council on Foreign Relations: Cleaning Up the Mess at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

Reuters: Nigerian lawyer sent in to clean up oil giant

Bloomberg View: It's Often a Curse to be Blessed with Commodities

Newstime Africa: Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma outlines blueprint for a new Sierra Leone after Ebola

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The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. We do this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis, and capacity development. We work with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries. For more information, please see:
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