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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Govt urged to distribute natural resources equally

18th May 2012

The government has been urged to make sure that revenues collected from oil, minerals and gas are distributed equitably by engaging all companies working in the sectors to ensure that communities and the entire nation benefit.

The call to that effect was made in Dar es Salaam yesterday by Siham Ahmed, the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (Tucta) Director of Gender and Youth Development in her keynote address at the opening of a two-day seminar on oil and gas issues in the country for national development.

She said Tanzania has been endowed with a number of resources such as minerals, gas and other national heritages, but ironically its people were still living in abject poverty.

“Therefore, employees who are fully engaged in extracting minerals, gas and exploration of oil have the right to know with confidence where their natural resources go and why they were not benefiting from them,” she said.

Siham added that the seminar objectives were to discuss issues pertaining to job security, decent work and respect to workers in the extraction of oil, gas and minerals and how they could benefit from them.

For his part, Davids Etyang, the East African Trade Union Congress (EATUC) Socio Economic and Research Officer said trade unions in the region should face new challenges of building new capacity, technical skills as well as health and safety to achieve better working conditions.

He said East Africa was experiencing high level oil and gas explorations in the recent years which show that member states in the East African Community have to translate their vast natural resources into national wealth and improved standards of their people.

“Good governance was crucial in creating an environment that fosters sustainable and equitable development ensuring that the revenues benefit the local people and the country at large,” he said.

Etyang said the East African Trade Union Congress in collaboration with the Southern Africa Trade Union Coordinating Council (SATUCC) through funding from LO-Norway developed the project on oil and gas for development.

According to him, EATUC has conducted a series of consultative regional workshops, round table discussions and country reports on the exploratory study on the extractive industry in selected East African countries, including Tanzania.

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