Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EITI, please change your 2nd principle

I am an oil cursed citizen who has seen my homeland waste immense non-renewable natural resources for nothing and destroy all its social structures, all as a direct consequence of the oil revenues going directly to the state coffers making our governments independently wealthy and powerful.

And then the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) 2nd principle states:

“We affirm that management of natural resource wealth for the benefit of a country’s citizens is in the domain of sovereign governments to be exercised in the interests of their national development.”

To me any moment a government receives, for example, more than 4 percent of its GDP in fiscal income which does not proceed from the taxpayers, it is de-facto turned into a natural resource autocracy, a central planned economy and a communist state.

I cannot believe that the people supporting EITI are really aware about this, but if so, and they still agree with it, then we must fight against EITI, since it is clear that it will only serve as an instrument to create the illusions of change, to be used by the oil-autocrats to keep us citizen down.

The sum of many individual decisions on what to do each one with their part of the oil revenues is always going to be better long term that the central-planned decisions by some autocrats.

But if the oil revenues have to go to the government then, as a minimum, they have to take the route of first pass through the tax-payer’s pockets.

Most of the oil curse does not have its origin in the oil revenues per se but in their distribution. Distributing the oil revenues directly to the citizens will stop the citizens from becoming beggars of favours and the governments from becoming haughty grantors of favours.