News / Africa

DRC Probes $88M in Missing Mining Revenue

Processing facilities at Tenke Fungurume, a copper and cobalt mine in the DRC's copper-producing south. Government officials are trying to trace millions in missing revenue that mining companies paid to a Congolese tax agency.
Processing facilities at Tenke Fungurume, a copper and cobalt mine in the DRC's copper-producing south. Government officials are trying to trace millions in missing revenue that mining companies paid to a Congolese tax agency.
Nick Long
Anti-corruption investigators in the Democratic Republic of Congo say they can't trace more than $88 million that mining companies paid to a government revenue agency.  
   
The investigation has been carried out by the Congolese branch of a global anti-corruption watchdog, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
 
EITI’s Congolese experts say they've been trying for six months to trace $88 million that mining companies paid to a Congolese tax agency called the DGRAD. They say the DGRAD has still not provided any proof that the money was paid to the national treasury.
 
The DRC planning minister has promised a judicial enquiry.
 
The $88 million gap in the public accounts, coupled with smaller amounts that have also gone missing, could mean that the DRC’s bid for full membership of the EITI is suspended. That could make it more difficult for the DRC to obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which last year suspended a $225-million program with Congo, citing lack of transparency in the mining sector.
 
The EITI secretariat, which is based in Europe, says that since last year the DRC’s new government, led by Prime Minister Matata Ponyo, has been working closely with the EITI and is trying hard to account for revenues and to expose mining contracts to public scrutiny.
 
"We indeed understand that the prime minister’s government is very supportive of the EITI," said Tim Bittinger, a spokesperson for the EITI. "The government has put a substantial budget at the disposal of the EITI process, and there have been several government-led meetings on how to reform the mining and oil sectors and the EITI has figured prominently in reform discussions."
 
Bittinger noted that Prime Minister Ponyo has asked EITI to extend the scope of its investigations and to look at how revenues from the mining sector are spent, as well as how they are collected.
 
He said this demonstrates a political will to reform the sector, which was already evident even before the IMF suspended its Congo program.

The EITI board will have to make a decision this week on whether or not to declare the DRC an EITI compliant country, a test the country has already failed twice.  But Bittinger suggested that whatever decision is made, the DRC’s reform drive in the mining sector is likely to continue.
 
"Whatever happens at that level we see substantial momentum and drive in DRC," he said. "We are not sure a decision either way will stop that drive which is quite impressive, and we very much welcome the improvements we have seen over the past years."
 
That view is echoed by Elizabeth Caessens, an independent expert on mining and governance in the DRC. Caessens, who works for the U.S.-based Carter Center, wrote recently that the DRC government has made substantial efforts to disclose information on its mining sector.
 
She said there are doubts about one particular mining deal in which a state-owned concession may have been sold for $60-million less than its real value, but that many other deals have been exposed to scrutiny with the publication recently of more than 100 contracts.
 
Those contracts include some large deals with Chinese mining companies that were previously kept out of the public eye.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David from: Washington DC
April 17, 2013 5:06 PM
DRC's Government should deal with engineering and construction companies.


by: Bertin MM from: Cape Town, SA
April 16, 2013 11:50 AM
The Mining sector in the DRC needs a clear reform and a change in the central government in order to have transparency in all the mines in that country. So many contracts are signed in abstracts. There is need for reform, reform and reform again in all sectors. DRC is becoming a such hell if no intervention is made immediately. This is true view.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid