Liberia: Sports Minister Wants 'Sports Development Tax' Levied On Some Consumer Goods

Monrovia — In a move to develop sports throughout Liberia Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson says there is the need to have a sport development tax on certain commodities imported in Liberia including alcohol beverages and cigarettes.

According to the Minister, if the government imposes such tax, it can be used to buttress government's support to the various sporting federations and associations in the country.

Speaking to reporters recently, the Sports Minister said under this campaign, he is recommending excise tax on beverages and cigarettes as well as at least $5-10 cents on a bag of rice.

The Sports Minister asserted that said tax, if paid by consumers in Liberia, would be used directly for the development and transformation of the sporting sector.

"If acted upon, funds collected will help reduce the financial situation and bring about sports development across the country," Minister Zeogar said.

Minister Wilson has urged the sporting population and the Liberian media to help support and join him in the national campaign for the betterment of society.

"We need good sporting infrastructures in other disciplines not only football but to include: boxing, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, volleyball and many other sporting facilities and the way to go is through sports development tax," he emphasized.

He stressed that it is now time for the government to help in enhancing the good work of the Liberia Football Association (LFA).

"I think the issue of discussion is sports development what is it we can do to enhance the work of the LFA. Yes, we need to do more that is why we have given the LFA duty free at the various ports of entry," he said.

"I have been a strong advocate talking to my colleagues. One, we need to look at the budget and increase it for sport development as well as youth development, but in the absence of that I have been advocating something of an excess tax on beverages and cigarettes to see how best we can have a sports development tax that will help develop sports in Liberia," Minister Wilson said.

He also disclosed that discussions are ongoing between him and the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel D. Tweah and the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority Thomas Doe Nah to see the need to implement said initiative in the general interest of the country.

Moreover, he indicated that the government's willingness to improve on its sporting infrastructure was manifested recently during signing of a 25-year lease agreement with the LFA and FIFA to make available the Samuel Doe practice pitch which has now been transformed into a mini stadium and also through discussions with the local authorities in Grand Bassa County, the Doris Williams Sports pitch in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County has also been developed, all of which he noted were done without hesitation only because of the government's passion in sports development and will do nothing to hamper said progress in the sector.

The Youth and Sports Ministry Boss stated that the national government is ever ready and willing to collaborate and cooperate with development partners in the sector to help improve sporting infrastructures across the Nation.

Currently through the support of the world Football Governing Body(FIFA), three mini stadiums with Artificial turfs have been completed and turned over to the Liberia Football Association.

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