Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Enforces Strict Control of State Revenues, Says President Obiang

Government defends commitment to upholding professionalism and transparency

In an interview with France Africa 24, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, defending the Government of Equatorial Guinea, stated it maintains strict control of State revenues.

“All the money is collected by the State,” said President Obiang. “No one can touch that money.” He then continued to discuss the various businesses that he and his family own, including his son’s companies in the forestry sector.

“I advise my family to work,” he said, “and to have companies and firms that will allow them to earn money besides the money they receive from the state. I cannot take money from the state either, so I have my own companies.”

The interview took place a day before two French judges requested an arrest warrant for the Minister of Agriculture, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who was accused of using “ill-gotten gains” to purchase property in France. In response, President Obiang stated that his son is an entrepreneur. “He owns infrastructure companies abroad. For example, he works with a company in Malaysia for roadwork. He did not take money… all the state money is secured.”

“If there are countries or international organizations that suspect that Equatorial Guinea is a corrupt country, I invite them to make a request to conduct their investigations here,” He continued. “You cannot judge or criticize a state without knowing the situation to its core.”

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid development and growth in various fields, including the industrial and oil sector. According to President Obiang, the recently accumulated wealth from exploitation of its petroleum and natural gas resources is to be widely distributed among the public and is an opportunity for Equatorial Guinea to help find solutions to long-standing problems and participate in efforts to relieve suffering. For this reason, Equatorial Guinea is a frequent contributor of humanitarian relief efforts, most recently sending 400 tonnes to the Congo Republic and before to Japan in 2010 after the tsunami.