17 July 2017

Liberia: Tax Giving Back - LRA Reaches Out to the Disadvantaged

Disadvantaged groups and people living with disabilities in two separate locations including the Old Folks Home on Front Street, and the Antoinette Tubman Cheshire Home in Sinkor, could not imagine the immense gesture the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) showed them on July 15 when it provided some huge quantities of assorted materials to them.

The gesture by the LRA is part of the Revenue Authority's recently launched Corporate Social Responsibility Program with the aim of providing assistance to vulnerable groups, communities and institutions in Liberia. The program seeks to place a prime focus on directly collaborating with and contributing to the betterment of the more vulnerable communities throughout the country.

Officially launching the program on July 1 during the LRA Taxpayers Appreciation Day in Monrovia, Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba said the Social Cooperate Responsibility Program is in fulfillment of the LRA's legislated mission and a vital way of taking the LRA to the people in a different dimension. CG Tamba said the endeavor is part of efforts to cement relationship with the vulnerable population in tapping their talents and skills in creating tax awareness.

The assorted items donated over the weekend included bags of rice, cartons of Sardines and Luncheon Meat, chicken, chloral, washing and bath soap and television sets, amongst others.

The Antoinette Tubman Cheshire Home, where the distribution began, has 12 persons with disabilities, most of whom are said to be abandoned by their own people.

Jonah Dolakeh, Acting Supervisor of the Antoinette Tubman Cheshire, said in a statement of appreciation that these 12 persons have been in the area since 1985, and have been living at the mercy of others. He said even staffs there earn not more than US$25.00, which according to him cannot give anyone good impression to work.

He said as they were wondering how to spend the coming Independence Day holiday, they are elated by the gesture of LRA which makes them to feel a part of the society.

The Old Folks Home on the other hand, was established in 1951 on Newport Street but later moved to Front Street. It accepts disadvantaged men and women 65 years of age and above, and it currently has nine persons living there.

Albert D. Scott, Coordinator of the Old Folks Home recounted that this welfare facility was established by President William V.S. Tubman with the aim of caring for disadvantaged elderly, but getting support to meet the needs of these people has been a difficult task.

Like Dolakeh, Mr. Scott, joined by the old folks some of who leaped to hug LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Steward Tamba, expressed gratitude to LRA for the supplies and wished the CG God's manifold blessings upon her and the LRA for remembering them.

In a statement while making the presentation, LRA Commissioner General, Elfrieda Steward Tamba said the gesture is a part of the institution's corporate social responsibilities to give some hope to the disadvantaged people to equally feel that they are Liberians and deserve the right to partake in proceeds from the tax collected in the country.

According to Mrs. Tamba, the LRA sent one of its employees to these two areas to solicit views from them about what they need and how many of them were there, and based on the information gathered, the LRA brought the assorted items to be divided equally. This according to the Commissioner General will require a person to have a portion of each of the items donated.

Mrs. Tamba said the LRA is also targeting the blind to provide them similar items in compliance with the institution's corporate social responsibilities, and she is expecting the gesture to extend to other parts of Liberia where disadvantaged people are.

She noted that LRA as an institution established by an Act of the Legislature is for Liberia and Liberians, and the more the institution becomes successful in its work, the more impactful it will be to the people of Liberia in all categories.

At the same time, the LRA has signed an MoU with the Liberia School for the Blind in Montserrado County in line with its Cooperate Social Responsibility, the LRA has said.

Under the MoU, the LRA will empower and work with the visually impaired, through the Liberia School of the Blind, to engage into tax awareness and education, while at the same time providing employment opportunities for them.

Under the MoU, the LRA will collaborate with the Liberia School for the Blind in the productions of educative tax dramas and jingles as well as hosting of quizzing competitions.

"The LRA is committed to promoting the good communication skills of the group so as to create a space for them to showcase their God-given talents" CG Tamba indicated. The MoU will last for the period of one year and is expected to be extended to the rest of the country.

It may be recalled that early this month the LRA recognized taxpayers and awarded some individuals and institutions with various kinds of awards based on tax compliance.


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