‘Mozambique needs to be practical’ - Xinhua
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Mozambican economist Tomas Selemane says that the Mozambican government must ensure transparency and accountability in its management of public resources before creating a sovereign fund with natural resource revenues.
“I support the idea of creating a sovereign fund, but I would like to draw attention to the fundamental problems that need to be solved first: corruption, lack of transparency and the lack of reliable mechanisms for accounting for national assets in terms of mineral resources,” Selemane said.
According to Selemane, a sovereign fund would be useless in a context where state resources are managed in an opaque manner and with impunity for the perpetrators of corruption.
“If a sovereign fund was managed as national finances have been managed so far, without transparency, without accountability for those who ransack the state, it will be no use,” he stressed.
The Mozambican government announced this week that it would create a sovereign fund with revenues from the exploitation of natural resources.
“Our thinking is that we should create a National Development Fund to finance worthy initiatives, but it needs sufficient capital to start,” Minister of Economy and Finance Adriano Maleiane said.
The account channel capital gains from natural resources such as coal and natural gas.
“This fund will be fed in the same way that the other countries feed their sovereign funds. As a government, what we are saying is that when we receive capital gains we shouldn’t increase expenditure and then have to face adjustment problems,” Maleiane explained.
Maleiane said that the fund would be managed by an autonomous entity, possibly the National Investment Bank (BNI).
The minister said that the fund’s initial capital would be the US$350 million dollars due from Italian multinational ENI in capital gains tax from the sale of a portion of its stake in the Rovuma basin natural gas concession to North American Exxon Mobil.