Few things in life are more fulfilling than spotting potential, grooming talents, watching them blossom into success and seeing them contribute to the socio-economic development of their communities and countries. This is one of the main reasons Tullow Oil Plc partnered the British Council to deliver the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme (TGSS).
For some time now, we have been tracking past beneficiaries of the scheme and their stories are simply mind-blowing. Today’s focus is on the exploits of a Kenyan nation builder: Clement Migai.
Clement Migai was one of the first 10 recipients of the 2012 Tullow Group Scholarship in Kenya. Having worked for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) since 2005, Clement foresaw the need for an understanding of oil and gas taxation following the discovery of oil in Kenya. A Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Certified Public Accountant (Kenya) and Certified Public Secretary (Kenya) graduate, Clement had unsuccessfully applied for other scholarships before but opted to try his hand one more time when the British Council launched the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme in Kenya in 2012.
Clement was successful and studied International Commercial Law (LLM) at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen where he focused his dissertation on Oil and Gas Taxation. He graduated with a distinction on November 15, 2013 and also received the Law School 2013 Sweet and Maxwell Prize for the best student in law postgraduate programmes.
Upon completing his studies Clement returned to Kenya with a desire to contribute the knowledge, skills and experience gained from his Master’s education to the development of Kenya’s Oil and Gas sector and therefore re-joined the KRA.
The impact of the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme is demonstrated in Clement’s work.
Clement was appointed by the Commissioner General, KRA to spearhead its response to the revenue administration challenges posed by the now in focus extractive industries. This involved leading KRA’s involvement in the review of the fiscal, legal and regulatory frameworks for mining, oil and gas in Kenya as well as capacity building within KRA. He led KRA’s team that was part of the Inter-Ministerial Committee that reviewed the fiscal provisions of and re-drafted the Mining Act 2016. Clement was also extensively involved in the review of the Income Tax Act that was led by consultants from the IMF and resulted in a new taxation regime for the extractive industries vide a new 9th Schedule to the Income Tax Act (Taxation of the Extractive Industries) under the Finance Act of 2014.
Again, Clement led KRA’s team to the Inter-ministerial Technical Committee (later renamed Joint Technical Committee after merging with another committee) that drafted the draft National Energy and Petroleum Policy, the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 2015 and the 2015 Model Production Sharing Contract and the Energy Bill 2015. These Bills have been passed by the National Assembly and have now been tabled before the Senate. In recognition of these efforts Clement and his team were awarded Certificates of Recognition in the Commissioner Generals Category during the 2015 KRA Staff Awards for their input into shaping the fiscal, legal and regulatory frameworks for Oil and Gas.
Additionally, he has participated in other sector committees. This includes the development of the report ‘Towards the Development of a Petroleum Master Plan for Kenya’ where he represented KRA in the steering committee on the PWC Consortium that was appointed by the World Bank and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. He also represented the Commissioner General in the National Fossil Fuels Advisory Committee that advices the Cabinet Secretary and Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum on Oil and Gas licensing, albeit briefly. Additionally, Clement mapped out KRA’s role in mining, oil and gas; identified capacity constraints and training needs and proposed training interventions as the KRA Focal Point for the World Bank funded Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance Project (KEPTAP). He was also involved by the National Treasury in reviewing proposals by the Kenya Oil and Gas Association as well as the Kenya Chamber of Mines during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 budget cycles.
After achieving so much in a rather short time, Clement looks to the future with great hope.
In July 2016, he became a Research and Teaching Associate, at the WU Global Tax Policy Centre at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) on secondment for 3 years from KRA. His main focus is on the Tax and Good Governance in Africa Project that is aimed at harnessing synergies between Financial Intelligence Units, Tax and Customs Administrations and other Law Enforcement Agencies in combating tax evasion, money laundering and other forms of illicit financial flows in three focus countries (Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa) and the Taxation and Extractives Projects. Here, it can be seen that his contribution to socio-economic development will not be only beneficial to Kenya but Africa.
In addition, from September 2016 Clement will be undertaking a Doctoral Program in Business Law where his research will focus on the nexus between taxation and illicit financial flows in the extractive industries in Africa. Here too, TGSS has been beneficial, albeit in a rather indirect way. This is however not the first scholarship Clement has won after TGSS. In 2014, he was awarded a scholarship for a Certificate in Petroleum Policy and Resource Management at PETRAD Norway (The International Program for Petroleum Management and Administration) in Stavanger, Norway and an Australian Awards Fellowship on “Extractive Industries: Effective Governance, Taxation and Financial Management” at the Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney in 2015.
Though short, Clement’s career path has been an eventful journey that has enabled him to contribute the knowledge, skills and experience acquired under the TGSS. In his own words, “the foundation for all these was laid by the TGSS: a once in a lifetime opportunity”