17 May 2013

Liberia Nets U.S.$117 Million - LEITI Reports

The head of secretariat of the multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has disclosed that Liberia has generated US$117 million from the extractive sector of the economy.

Mr. Samson Tokpah in a news conference said that report shows that during the period under review, the extractive sector contributed US$117 million to the economy, a 65 percent increment to the previous year.

"This shows a sustained growth of contributions by the extractive sector to the economy, from US$29 million in 2007/08; US$35 in 2008/09 and 71 million in 2009/10 to US$117 million in 2010 to 2011", he said.

According to Tokpah, the report also includes payments reported by four other government agencies, including the Liberia Maritime Authority; the National Port Authority; the Environmental Protection Agency and the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, respectively.

The audit covers 68 companies in the oil, mining, forestry and agricultural sectors whose contracts, licenses, and permits and rights were granted by the Government of Liberia for the period of July 13, 2009 up to and including December 31, 2011.

The multi stakeholders steering group endorsed the fourth reconciliation report for Liberia and the audit report. The decision was made Thursday during an emergency MSG meeting held at the LEITI secretariat in Monrovia.

The 4th EITI report for Liberia, prepared by the reconciler, Ernst and Young from Ghana captures all material payments of taxes, royalties, land and other administrative fees paid to, and acknowledged by the government by oil, mining, forestry and agricultural companies for the period of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The report includes in kind contributions made by extractive companies, revenue tracking, and amount due.

"The objectives were to ascertain whether these rights and permits were awarded either in full or partial compliance with the applicable laws of the country, while others failed to meet the requirements.

The audit was commissioned by the LEITI/MSG in July 2011 and conducted by Moore Stephens based in London in collaboration with Parker and Associates, a Liberian firm. The audit is the first of its kind to be conducted by LEITI", Tokpah said.

He noted the Multi Steering Group of LEITI resolved to organize a special retreat at which stakeholders will review recommendations from these reports, with the aims of identifying areas for policy implementation.

Meanwhile, the launch of the reports will be followed by massive dissemination exercise including extensive outreach throughout the 15 counties of the country.

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