Special Unit to monitor Tanzania’s natural gas revenues, sovereign wealth fund

Tanzania has announced it will be forming a special unit that will look into the country’s revenue from natural gas as the country prepares to start production in the first quarter of 2015.

Tanzania that has discovered just over 50.5Tcf reserves of natural gas both offshore and onshore hopes the special unit can help deal with corruption and ensure that the revenues can benefit especially the poor masses.

This step is also in consideration that the country is yet to fully benefit from the mineral resources that it currently exports which include diamonds, uranium and gold with mining contributing 4.6 percent of GDP according to the Tanzanian Chamber of Minerals and Energy 2011 figures.

The country is also increasing the capacity of oversight bodies such as the controller and auditor general’s office headed by Ludovich Utouh  which has sought technical support from Norway and Netherlands.

“We are very excited and hope these institutions would help our people acquire necessary skills and knowledge to audit revenues from this industry,” Utouh was quoted by trust.org.

Tha auditor general says his office needs to get the capacity to monitor the industry especially understanding the complex contracts for possible auditing.

The biggest task for the unit however will be the audit of the sovereign wealth dfund that is expected to be created in 2015 to ensure that the country saves enough revenues for future generations.

Meanwhile the country is set to send over 300 nationals from various professions including lawyers, accountants, auditors and engineers to train in the oil and gas industry and sub-sectors according to Energy and Minerals Minister Professor Sospeter Muhongo.

“The target of 300 is in our martial plan to train local human capital. I am hopeful that in five years’ time our country will have the largest number of local expertise in the natural gas and oil industry,” Muhongo is quoted by the Tanzania Daily News.

He was speaking during a ceremony to send off 10 students to study in China.  Tanzania also has students studying in various fields in oil and gas in various countries including Norway, United Kingdom and United States with another batch of 10 students set to leave for Brazil in January 2015.

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