FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

1 July 2014

Liberia: Huge Disparity - LEITI Fifth Report Points to Conflicting Liberia Figures

The fifth Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report has revealed disparities in figures reported by the agency, companies and government agencies.

The EITI reported stated that the total amount received by nine agencies of Government from the oil, mining, forestry and agriculture sectors as of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 amounted to US$110, 146, 657 (one hundred ten million, one hundred forty- six thousand, six hundred fifty-seven United States dollars).

The report stated that payments data supplied by eighty companies amounted to US$100, 809, 819 (One hundred million, eight hundred nine thousand, eight hundred nineteen United States dollars.

Addressing a news conference on Monday, June 30, 2014, the Deputy Head of Secretariat for the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) Konah D. Karmo disclosed that the report is geared towards promoting transparent resource management, so that Liberians can benefit from the proceeds of their resources.

Said Karmo: "The fifth report commissioned by the MSG and prepared by Ernst and Young and MGIMohbo and company, was approved by the MSG on June 19, 2014. It contains reconciled accounts of payments made to, and revenues received by the Government of Liberia from the oil, mining, forestry and agriculture companies during the fiscal year July 1, 2011 up to and including June 30, 2014."

According to the report, the fixed components of amount due to be paid by companies to the government for the period under review, as calculated by reconcilers amounted to US$31, 588, 894.00 (thirty one million five hundred eighty-eight thousand, eight hundred ninety-four United States dollars) while US$ 17, 627, 411(seventeen thousand, six hundred twenty-seven thousand, four hundred eleven dollars) was disclosed by agencies of government.

However, the reports state that the companies under review disclosed a higher amount of US$33,030, 421 dollars as amount due. During the revenue tracking, the report shows that companies to various agencies of government reportedly paid the amount of US$18,755,710, while agencies of government acknowledged receiving US$18,944,946.

The difference of US$189, 236 arose when the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), reported a payment of US$1, 160764 to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Finance reported receiving US$1,350,000, the report said. Of the total amount received by government, the report says a sum of US$16, 611667 was disbursed thus leaving an undisbursed balance of US$2, 333279.

The Deputy LEITI Boss, told reporters that the preparation and launching of the EITI report is not the end of the campaign, adding that part of the process is to discuss the findings of the report with the citizens and solicit their views on the recommendations as they are the true owners of the resources.

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