Failing to achieve its target for three consecutive years, the Ethiopian Geological Survey (EGS) was heavily criticized by the members of the Natural Resources and Environment Protection Standing Committee of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR).
In a nine-month performance report presented on Wednesday, members of the committee expressed their concern over the institution’s current performance rate which they fear would open more doors for rent-seeking.
The EGS was particularly criticized over the delayed construction project of Geo-Science Laboratory Center – ISO 17025. According to members of the standing committee, the construction of the laboratory facility was planned to be completed in 2015. Furthermore, a year ago, a promise was made to finalize the construction and was supposed to begin operation in the current fiscal year. However, the report revealed that no progress has been achieved which brought another round of disappointment from MPs.
They noted that due to the failure of completing the laboratory, in accordance with the schedule, it has not been able to deliver certification service for applicants. This also paves a way for rent-seeking and corruption tendencies.
The MPs also singled out various issues which they said the institution was performing unsatisfactorily not once but repeatedly, even though it continues to set plans for every respective fiscal year.
Responding to MPs concerns and criticism, Masresha Gebreselassie, director general of EGS stated major challenges that prevented his institutions from achieving its targets.
He mainly stated shortage of man-power, vehicles as well as structural problems as the main factors that contributed for the overall poor-performance his office had registered so far.
Nevertheless, the standing committee underlined the Geological Survey’s studies on the abundance and the location of minerals such as iron-ore and gemstone which evaluated it as a positive result.
However, due to the absence of Geo-Science laboratory service, it limited the country’s effort of exploring Industrial mining. It added that due to the failure to get the laboratory completed in the schedule, it was not able to undertake environmental protection activities in those areas where the exploration of coal is underway.
While concluding the meeting, Jembernesh Kinfe, the Standing Committee deputy chair stated in her final remark that “taking the dire need of the laboratory in to consideration, the standing committee will table it to the concerned governmental institution to look for a final and speedy solution.