The French chapter of Publish What You Pay just published a new report with Oxfam France, One and Sherpa, which analyses the extractive industries’ first disclosure of payments to governments. Two interesting case studies are featured in the study, one in Angola (Total) and one in Niger (Areva) and they expose potential tax losses in those two countries.
The report was published in French, with an EN translation planned for May.
What is analyzed?
For the first time in 2016, EU registered/listed extractive companies reported their payments to governments in countries where they have extractive activities (including their taxes), country by country and project by project. One of the main objective of the directive setting these obligations is to raise awareness about the activities of extractive companies in resource-rich countries and help citizens and activists follow the money.
Oxfam France, ONE and Sherpa – members of Publish What You Pay France – analyzed the disclosure of 6 French companies (Areva, EDF, Engie, Eramet, Maurel&Prom and Total) in the report.
Case studies in Angola & Niger
– Niger: this case study assesses the outcome of the renegotiation of the uranium contracts of French nuclear company Areva in Niger. Oxfam and a local organization called ROTAB held a campaign in 2013/2014 to force Areva and Niger to renegotiate a better deal out of the extraction of uranium – in particular regarding the royalty system. The new data released by Areva as part of the EU obligations not only suggests that Niger got a very bad deal – Areva actually pays less royalties than before for a similar volume of activity – but also under evaluates the price of uranium it exports – in what could be a profit shifting between Areva operations in Niger. We estimate that new provisions in the deal cost Niger 15m€ in royalties in 2015 and that the under-evaluation of uranium export represented a tax loss ranging from 10 to 30m€ in the same year – that would then be worth 18% of the health budget in a country where the average life expectancy is just above 60 years old.
– Angola: The second case study explores the discrepancies between the payments disclosed by Total in Angola and what the authorities claim they have received. From there, we analyzed that Total may have shifted some of its profit from Angola to Switzerland, leading to a potential tax loss of €93m to Angola in 2015.
The report and the case studies have gained enormous coverage in all major French media already!