The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) his disclosed that direct government revenue from the extractive industries dropped from US$135.3m in the Fiscal Year 2013/2014 to US$100.7m in Fiscal Year 2014/2015.
Speaking at the launch of the 8th EITI Report for Liberia, commissioned by the Multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Deputy Minister for Planning, Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Mr. Stephen Dorbor indicated that “the 8th EITI Report for Liberia, prepared by Moore Stephens LLC (UK) in collaboration with Parker and Associates Inc, contains reconciled accounts of payments made to, and revenues received by the Government of Liberia from the oil, mining, forestry and agricultural companies during the Fiscal Year July 1, 2014 up to and including June 30, 2015.
Mr. Dorbor noted that “The Report shows that the total amount received by the Government of Liberia from the oil, mining, forestry and agriculture sectors for the period under review amounted to One Hundred Million, Seven Hundred Twenty Seven Thousand, Four Hundred Sixty Nine United States Dollars (US$100,727,469.00), while payment data supplied by fifty five (55) companies amounted to Ninety Seven Million, Seven Hundred Forty One Thousand, Two Hundred and Seven United States Dollars (US$97,741,207.00), resulting to a net difference of Two Million, Nine Hundred Eighty Six Thousand, Two Hundred Sixty Two United States Dollars (US$2,986,262.00).
He pointed that the difference in payment means that the Government of Liberia acknowledged receiving Two Million, Nine Hundred Eighty Six Thousand, Two Hundred Sixty Two United States Dollars (US$2,986,262.00) more in revenue than what the companies reported as taxes paid.
According to Mr. Dorbor, “the launch of the report is not the end of the campaign. Part of the process is to discuss the findings of the report with the citizens and solicit their views on the recommendations. Hence, the launch of the report will be followed by massive dissemination exercises including extensive outreach throughout the fifteen counties of Liberia. Additionally, the MSG is committed to further reviewing the findings and recommendations of the report with the aim of identifying areas for policy design, implementation and evaluation.
This initiative is very crucial and cannot be achieved without the participation of all stakeholders of the LEITI process including you members of the press. In your traditional role as agenda setters, the LEITI depends on you to raise the platform of the EITI process in Liberia and to create awareness and educate the public on the findings of these reports conducted to promote transparent resource management in Liberia,” he concluded.
For his part, the Head of Secretariat at LEITI Mr. Konah D. Karmo attributed the deceased in extractive revenue to the Ebola crisis which engulfed the country in 2014. He added that some companies operating in the extractive industry closed down and left the country; thus preventing them from doing business and paying taxes to government.
He also pointed out that the difference in the report is due to the pulling-out of some companies operating in the sector. He said absent companies did not present date to the reporting process, which created a situation that compelled the reconciler to only received date from the Government of Liberia.
According to Mr. Karmo, the LEITI will shortly begin a missive dissemination exercise of the 8th EITI Report for Liberia across the fifteen counties. He noted that the outreach process is part of an exercise seeks to inform the people of Liberia about how much revenue companies paid to the Government of Liberia and how much revenue the government received from companies.
In a related, a team of validators from the EITI International has concluded a week-long visit to Liberia. The visiting EITI Team held consultations with stakeholders in the Extractive Sector including the Government of Liberia, LEITI, the Multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Private Sector as well as Civil Society Organizations to determine whether Liberia is implementing the EITI program in accordance with EITI Standard.
The meeting also afforded the validators the opportunity to collect data and other pieces of information that will inform the validation process and get a feel of EITI implementation in Liberia.
Source: Extractive Media Watch