Liberia EITI Rally calls for support as suspension is lifted
March 24, 2020
The Multi-stakeholder Steering Group of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has termed as a huge relief, the recent decision of the EITI board to lift the temporary suspension on Liberia.
The EITI Board suspended Liberia in September 2018 due to its failure to publish EITI Reports for 2016/17 and 2017/18, 2019 Annual Work Plan, and 2017/18 Annual Progress Report. The Board reiterated its decision in mid-2019 due to delays in publication of the 2017/18 EITI Report, 2017/18 Annual Progress Report, and 2019 Annual Work Plan.
In a statement released in Monrovia recently, the MSG extolled all stakeholders especially the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah and his government for the expressed commitment to making the EITI process workable and fully operational in Liberia.
The release further quotes the MSG as appealing to the President to continue his unflinching support to the full implementation of the EITI process in Liberia as the Country continues to make strides of historical significance to the global community.
The Body, however, reminded itself that the lifting of the suspension comes with a huge task as Liberia’s Second Validation is now slated for July 1, 2020, just four months away. “The MSG must now reinvigorate itself for this task and all others.” The statement noted.
The EITI Board effective March 6, 2020, lifted the temporary suspension on Liberia after the Country compliance to the provisions of key documents before the deadline.
Bady Balde appointed as EITI Deputy Executive Director
EITI’s Africa Director, Bady Baldé, has been appointed as its Deputy Executive Director. Going forward, Bady will combine the roles of Africa and Deputy Executive Director.
“I am delighted that Bady will take up the role of Deputy Executive Director at the EITI International Secretariat," commented Mark Robinson, EITI’s Executive Director. "Bady is an accomplished speaker and strategist, whose skills and substantial country experience will take the EITI forward, as it continues to raise the bar on extractives transparency.”
Bady joined the EITI in 2010 and has progressively assumed more responsibilities for our technical, country and policy work. He brings a wealth of both technical and political experience to this role. He has also led the Secretariat’s work on several major policy areas. On commodity trading transparency, for example, Bady’s work has resulted in EITI transparency requirements on commodity trading and the establishment of the commodity trading working group. As Africa Director, Bady oversees the International Secretariat’s work in 24 implementing countries in Africa. Over many years, Bady worked to promote transparency and good governance in challenging environments such as the DRC, Chad and the Republic of the Congo. He is also substantially involved in outreach activities in countries such as Niger, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
MSG Approves 10th & 11th EITI Reports for Liberia
December 31, 2019
The Multi-stakeholder Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) on December 31, 2019, endorsed and approved the 10th_and_11th_eiti_report_for_liberia covering the periods 2016/17 and 2017/18.
LEITI MSG at the start of October 2019 commissioned BDO-UK in collaboration with Parker & Associates Liberia, two reputable auditing firms to prepare the 10th &11th EITI Reports for Liberia.
The reports reveal that the total revenue received by the government from the oil, mining, forestry and agriculture sectors for the period July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 amounted to USD53.84m, whilst the total amount received for the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 amounted to USD68.9m. This represents a 28% increase in revenues collected from the sectors covered under Liberia’s EITI scope.
The 2017/18 report shows a difference of $490,521 government receipts over what was reportedly paid by companies. LEITI will investigate further these discrepancies. The report also reveals challenges in sectorial oversights, data collection and licensing processes, among others. LEITI will begin to work with relevant government ministries and agencies to address these concerns.
With today’s approval and launch, the report is now set to be disseminated across the country to discuss the findings with the citizens and solicit feedback on how to improve governance of the extractive sector.
In addition to the 10th and 11th EITI Reports, the LEITI MSG has also approved and published the 2017 and 2018 Annual Progress Reports, and the 2019/20 fully costed Workplan in keeping with EITI Requirements.
The Chairperson thanked all stakeholders and expressed government’s commitment to transparency in the extractive sector. He assured all stakeholders that LEITI will continue to play its role in ensuring that Liberians benefit from their abundant extractive resources. Whilst the publishing of these reports is a significant step forward, the Chairperson highlighted the challenges for Liberia’s third EITI Validation which will commence shortly. He encouraged the entire MSG and other stakeholders to continue their good support towards the EITI implementation so that Liberia passes EITI Validation. LEITI has lifted in its 2019/2020 Workplan key activities including a Beneficial Ownership Registry and Mainstreaming the EITI reporting process. The Chairperson also called on the government and development partners to ensure these key initiatives are funded.
Along with reports the MSG also approved the combined 2017 and 2018 Annual Activity report and the costed 2019/2020 workplan.
LIBERIAN GOVERNMENT REITERATES SUPPORT TO EITI IMPLEMENTATION AS DE LISTING DEADLINE APPROACHES
December 30, 2019
The Liberian Government has reiterated its commitment to the full implementation of the EITI process in the Country as EITI deadline for delisting nears.
Liberia, which is under suspension for failing to meet its reporting obligations in 2017 is at the verge of being delisted if it cannot meet the December 31, 2019 deadline for the publication of its EITI report.
Since October this year the Country has been making frantic efforts to prepare and publish the report on or before the stipulated deadline and the Government has been keenly involved with the process thus far.
A reinforcement of its willingness was again recently expressed at an emergency meeting of the Multi-stakeholder Steering Group (MSG) held at a local hotel in Monrovia.
The meeting was intended to review and report on the progress of the report as well as make final preparations for the publication of the Report which is said to be in its finalization stage.
Speaking to a well-attended gathering of the MSG, Liberia’s minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Mcgill flanked by Finance Minister Samuel Tweah pledged the Government’s unrelenting commitment to the implementation process of the EITI in Liberia.
Minister Mcgill told the MSG that the Government will continue to work with the LEITI in meeting its obligations with the international Secretariat of the EITI even after the Country has met the deadline as stipulated.
Liberia’s suspension was catalyst by the Government direct involvement in the appointment of a head of secretariat contrary to the Act creating the institution.
But the Government has since redrew its appointment leaving all recruitment processes with the MSG as required by law.
President Weah Completes the constitution of the LEITI’s MSG
FOR FAILING TO FILE TIMELY DATA, LEITI PUBLISHES NAMES OF DELINQUENT COMPANIES
The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has named several companies and a government agency for failing to make timely disclosure of tax payment data to the 9th EITI Report on Liberia.
Eleven Companies and a government agency were listed and published in several local dailies in Monrovia as well as aired on popular radio shows.
Article 4(b) of the LEITI Act of 2009 requires that all extractive companies and covered Government’s ministries and agencies disclose, at least once every year, the data of all payments made and revenues received in respect of the extraction of Liberia’s forest and mineral resources. This initiative is in support of the government’s effort to promote transparency and accountability over the management of revenues from Liberia’s extractive resources, ensuring that all citizens benefit from such resources.
“The preparation of the 9th Report for Liberia is on-going and at the data collection and payments reconciliation stage; and to date, a number of companies and a government agency have failed to submit payment data in both soft and hard copies to the LEITI process for the fiscal year July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Such delinquency is posing a challenge to the timely completion of the 9th LEITI Report for Liberia.” A statement from the Secretariat read
The Multi-stakeholders Steering Group of the LEITI recently mandated that the names of these companies be published in line with the LEITI Sanction regime, and warns that further punitive actions, including revocation of licenses, will be taken against companies that insist on such non-complaint attitude. Read more
LEITI MAKES DATE WITH HISTORY AS GOVERNMENT PLEDGES SUPPORT
July 2, 2017
The Government of Liberia says it remains committed to resource transparency through the workings of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI).
Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara pledged the government’s full support to the EITI process in Liberia especially when the Country has been given 18 months to make improvements in areas of the standards that Liberia scored less marks during the July 2016 validation.
The Finance Minister extolled the LEITI for remaining focused on ensuring a transparent and accountable natural resource sector amidst the devastating Ebola crisis in the Country.
Minister Kamara made the statement at the opening of a two day retreat of the Multi-stakeholder Steering Group (MSG) held in Monrovia on May 31st to June 1st, 2017. See gallery The retreat was intended to review the 2015 five year strategic plan of the LEITI aiming to realign the strategy with the new EITI standards. Read More
LEITI REACTS TO RECENT GLOBAL WITNESS REPORT
May 12, 2017
The Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has reacted to a recent Global Witness report alleging illegality of all large contracts in the forestry sector and violation of other laws including the LEITI Act.
The recent Global Witness report on Liberia titled Holding The Line, is built on LEITI’s Beneficial Ownership Disclosure report as well as previous LEITI Reconciliation reports and alleges, among others, the existence of additional names behind the ownership of some forestry companies operating in Liberia which were not disclosed to the LEITI during the preparation of the Beneficial Ownership Disclosure report.
It can be recalled that LEITI released a Beneficial Ownership Report in December 2015 containing the names and particulars of beneficial owners (true owners) or people who have at least five percent shares in companies operating in the mining, oil, forestry and agriculture sectors of Liberia. The Multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG) of the LEITI considers these allegations contained in the Global Witness’ report that some companies in the forestry sector have made false declarations about their beneficial owners as serious and grave. Read more
BETHESDA WINS 2017 E-CLUB DEBATE
The Bethesda Christian Mission School (BCMS) in Paynesville along the Roberts field highway emerged as winners of the 2017 edition of the inter high school debate organized by the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI). Read more
VALUE ADDITION IS KEY TO THE EXTRACTIVE SECTOR’
Deputy Minister Zayzay avers
The Deputy Minister for Research and Planning at the Ministry of Internal Affairs is calling on the Liberian government to encourage value addition to extractive resources for the benefit of the people.
Mr. Augustus M. Zayzay says when companies are encouraged to start adding value to the resources locally; more Liberians will be gainfully employed and concession communities will progress. Read more
HOS CHALLENGES STUDENTS TO PUSH FOR TRANSPARENCY
April 26, 2017
The Head of Secretariat of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has challenged students of the Stella Maris Polytechnic-a local tertiary institution to use their intellectual abilities to push for transparency over the management of the Country’s extractive sector.
Speaking to a cross section of students recently at programs marking the dissemination of the abridged contact matrix at that institution, Mr. Konah D. Karmo cautioned the students to use the material to invoke the required advocacies that will further enhance transparency over the management of the country’s natural resources. Read more.