Open letter to the British Prime Minister on requiring UK-listed companies to publish what they pay

Source: PWYP Uganda
Date: 10 Mar 2011

Dear Prime Minister David Cameron,

RE: DISCLOSURE OF PAYMENTS BY EXTRACTIVE COMPANIES LISTED IN THE UK

In Uganda, large quantities of oil were recently discovered, which by 2012 are anticipated to produce up to 25,000 barrels a day, rising to 250,000 in the following years. The revenue generated by the oil has the potential to transform our economy and push the country towards middle-income status. The fight against poverty and disease could be intensified and social services for all Ugandans improved.

However, world experience tells us that oil can be a curse as well as a blessing. Many African countries rich in natural resources have been plagued by instability, corruption and huge inequality. Our neighbours in the Democratic Republic of Congo should be one of the world’s richest countries given their natural resources, but they are one of the poorest. Nigeria has also demonstrated that oil riches can be used to enrich a few political elites, leaving the masses in a very poor state. This is absurd. On a good note, Botswana has utilised the revenues from their diamond deposits to transform the nation to a higher level of human development. This is the path we would love to see Uganda take.

From our experience as civil society, local government officials, academics, businessmen and other relevant stakeholders, the first step to ensuring that Uganda as a whole benefits from the oil is transparency. We stand ready to hold our leaders accountable, but we require your support to do so even more.

We saw that the US passed a law last year requiring all extractive industry companies listed on their stock exchanges to publish openly their payments to the governments of the countries where they operate on a project-by-project basis. However, for countries like Uganda, this law can only help if it is also implemented in the UK.

Tullow Oil is the major extractive company operating in Uganda and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. If your government were to implement similar legislation to the US, you would be empowering us with the information we need to hold our leaders accountable. Knowing how much money is coming in to the country in a timely fashion is not a complicated thing to ask for. The only losers would be those who plan to steal the revenue.

In Uganda, we have a great opportunity in the years ahead to build desperately needed infrastructure and institutions, to push towards the Millennium Development Goals, to bring electricity and other social services to our most rural areas in a cost-effective manner and to reduce dependence on overseas aid.

With your help, we can ensure oil is a blessing and not a curse to our country, offering meaningful benefits to society, the economy and the environment in a sustainable manner for the current generation and for those that follow.

Yours Sincerely

Flavia Kanagizi
Tumwiine Protase
Rwengomera Margaret
Tumuhimbise Edison
Baryamujura Joseph
Ndamata Frugence
Magara Pius
Kyomukama Grace
Turyasingura Gaston
Kamugisha James
Twesiime Fredinand
Beinamaryo Jolly
Rev. Joseph Bagarukayo
B. Bizemire
Katabaazi Edison
Ndabamwenze Pastori
Turyahikayo Prosper
Karyamaraki Vincent
Batebekyera E
Tuhirirwe J K
Katungye Dez
Mugumya Teo
Arinaitwe Silvano
Nzabimana John
Monday Adolf
Tumuhimbise Robert
Turyahikayo L
Meris Kamusingize
Twesigye Mable
Safari Augustine
Kwesiga patrick
Mutatinensi Dedan
Tumuhimbise Herbert
Katabazi Lawrence
Twesigomwe Dues
Kamuhanda Justus
Muhwezi Ivan
Rev. Johnson Mushabe
Besigye Louis
Mblinda John
Twinamatsiko Dankan
Twenda Benard
Monday Charles
Tumuramye Enos
Ainamani Yasin
Katarihera Johnbosco
Tirwakunda Dezi
Byaruhanga Nalis
Tunga Kagorogoro
Batega Peter
Twine Dononzio
Twinomugisha Kosima
Denis Magara – Fr.
Turinawe Nelson
Tayebwa Davis
Katarikawe Charles
Busingye Tibaijuka
Ngabiirwe Winfred
Nturanabo Eric
Owaruhanga Garasiano
Twinomugisha JB
Turyanzyomwe Mercy
Origye Idan
Rev. Kevin Olweny
Rev.Fr. Julius Orach
Canon Sam Tumwesigye
Rev. Godfrey Loum
Osman Amulla Anewa
Canon Livingstone Kawere
Vincent Edoku
Rev. Habomugisha Esau
Rev. Rose Kaheeru
Rev. Isaac Chanda
Rev. Herbert Kiviiri
Turihamwe Robert
Fr. Jerome Agelu
Mweru Margaret
Anthony Wolimbwa
Robert Ddamulira
Rev. Agunda Godfrey
Rev. Titus Kutusi
Lisa Baumgarther
Betty Oruru
Alex Ndyakira
Karoya Elizabeth
Rev. Fr. Emanuel Vura
Fr. Alexander Ssebwami
Wamugasa Edward
Mboya God
Ahebwa B.K
Blasio K Mugasa
Alice Otieno
Tumwesigye A. Henry
Busobozi Kankibi
Tumusiime Richard
Lubanga Leonia
Lubanga Stephen
Kamanyire Yasin
Joseph Bagarukayo (Rev)
Rwamango Hassan
Mugabe Edson
Turinawe Nelson
Ndabahwerize Pastori
Magara Pius
Kiconco Benson
Biremire
Tumwesigye Alosius
David Tiwangye (Rev.)
katabazi Edson
Byamugisha Maricori
Birihamwe C
Tayebwa Davis
kwarikunda Esther
Twesigomwe Jacob
Katamujuna Charles
Besigye T Pius
Kanyesigye Nickson
Museketa Ivan
Mpirirwe Simpson
Miria Kimote
Muhereza David
Rwerwe Abarty
Nathan Turyagyenda
Tumwijukye Julius
Kyarikunda Velerian
Safari Beyi
Twinomuhangi
Byaruhanga Aloysius
Owamumpire Isaac
Kyakunzire Recheal
Muheirwe Rosettee
Byaruhanga Joseph
Twijukye Simpson
Banshekwire Robinah
Twikirize Catherine
Damari Kyohairwe
Zinkubire John
Turyahebwa Juriet
Esan Bararuhire
Akankwansa Adam
Kamwebaze Benard
Turyazayo Norman
Arinaitwe Emmy
Byomuhangi Silver
Habasa Esau
Ntabura John
Natukunda Denis
Kiiza Kevin
Kankwasa Dismus
Rutakoba Salvias
Byamukama Voristo
Onesmus Mugyenyi
Shem Byakagaba
Sarah Prinsloo
Achilles Byaruhanga
Madira Davidson
Bazira Henry
Ronald Businge
Robinah Kajwenge
David Mukhwana
Robert Ddamulira
Irene Sekyana
Stuart Bigirwenkya
Dickens Kamugisha
Raymond Katebaka
Mugume Micheal
Magelah Peter
Ivan Amanigaruhanga
Senyonjo Julius
Edith Kabesime
Sophie Kyakuranyi
Gerald Byaruhanga
Ngabiirwe Winfred

To view the letter in PDF please click here