The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) climaxed celebrations of this year’s International Customs Day (ICD) with Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah calling on the joint security deployed at the country’s borders to work in harmony with Customs officers as they collect the country’s lawful revenue.
The Commissioner General said when other security units at the borders work with the LRA to collect revenue from international trade, it would increase the country’s annual budget from around US$500 million and boost the government’s capacity to fund development programs and improve basic social services in the country.
Annually held on January 26, International Customs Day (ICD) recognizes the role of custom officials and agencies in maintaining border security. It focuses on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs.
This year marked the 68th Observance, and was celebrated in Liberia by the LRA from January 27 to 28 in Grand Cape Mount County at Bo Waterside. Bo is a major border town between Liberia and Sierra Leone. The celebration included sporting activities and cultural performances with the local community, the joint security and Customs officers on both sides of the border.
CG Nah urged the joint security (Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia National Police and the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency along with Customs) at Bo Waterside to be patriotic by putting Liberia first in their duties — to help make the country prosperous and successful among the comity of nations.
“You have to collaborate to collect the lawful revenue for Liberia,” the Commissioner General referred to the border management team. “Remember that you are working here for your country and you have to do it with sincerity and diligence, and when you do that you will help lift Liberia among the comity of nations,” he added.
CG Nah indicated that despite the rough economic situation, there a is a radiant of hope and asserted that his administration will take the LRA to another level of revenue collection. The CG urged LRA employees and partners in revenue collection to think and act progressively in the collection of revenue for the state.
For so long, the Commissioner General said, “our budget has been around US$500 million, but we have to work together and progressively to take it to US$1 billion. It is possible and we can do it.”
The global theme for this year’s ICD was held under the slogan “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet,” with the intent of Customs administration around the world focusing on the contribution of Customs towards a sustainable future where social, economic, health and environmental needs are at the heart of its actions.
Customs is uniquely mandated and positioned at borders to play a prominent role across the international supply chain, ensuring a sustainable, secure, and inclusive future for all.