Monrovia, Liberia; Thursday, May 16, 2013: The Multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has endorsed the Fourth EITI Reconciliation Report for Liberia and the Post Award Process Audit Report. The decision was made today 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 (Ghana), captures all material payments of taxes, royalties, land/surface rentals and other administrative fees paid to, and acknowledged by the Government of Liberia by all oil, mining, forestry and agricultural companies for the period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Additionally, the report includes In-kind Contributions made by extractive companies, Revenue Tracking, and Amount Due. The report was also expanded to include payments reported by four other Government agencies including the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), the National Port Authority (NPA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA).The report shows that during the period under review, the extractive sector contributed US$117m to the Liberian economy, a 65% increment in what was reported in the previous year. This shows a sustained growth of contributions by the extractive sector to the economy, from $29m in 2007/2008; $35m in 2008/2009; and $71m in 2009/2010 to $117m in 2010/2011.
The Post Award Process Audit covers 68 companies operating in the oil, mining, forestry and agricultural sectors whose contracts, licenses and permits and rights were granted/amended by the Government of Liberia for the period July 13, 2009 up to and including December 31, 2011. The objective was to ascertain whether these rights and permits were awarded in line with applicable Liberian Laws. The report shows that some of these contracts and permits were awarded either in full or partial compliance with the applicable Laws of the Republic of Liberia while others failed to meet the requirements. The audit/investigation was commissioned by the LEITI MSG in July 2011 and conducted by Moore Stephens LLP (London) in Collaboration with Parker and Associates (Liberia). This audit is the first of its kind to be conducted by the LEITI.
At today’s meeting, the MSG resolved to organize a special retreat at which stakeholders will review recommendations from these reports, with the aim of identifying areas for policy implementation.
Meanwhile, the launch of the reports will be followed by massive dissemination exercises including extensive outreach throughout the fifteen counties of Liberia.
The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) is an autonomous agency established through an Act of the Legislature, to promote the transparent management of Liberia’s extractive resources. It is a tripartite arrangement governed by a Multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG), consisting of representatives of the Government of Liberia, civil society organizations, the private sector, and Liberia’s development partners.
Monrovia, May 9, 2013: The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Honorable Gbehzongar Findley has been elected to represent Liberia and other implementing countries on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) International Board for 2013-2015. Ghana will serve as Alternate Member to Liberia on the Board.
Five (5) of the twenty (20) seats on the EITI Board are allotted to implementing countries. Liberia and other countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Sao Tome, Zambia and Tanzania, categorized as “Africa Region Block 1”, are entitled to one representative and an Alternate. Following a call for nomination from the EITI Secretariat in late 2012, the Multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) nominated Senator Findley to contest the single seat with nominees from the other countries.
Announcing the victory on Wednesday, the Head of Secretariat of the LEITI, Mr. Samson S. Tokpah said the race in which Honorable Findley was nominated was a though one. “This victory did not come easy this time around. Nigeria and Ghana put up a good fight. Nigeria was represented by its EITI Board Chair Ledum Mitee, and Ghana by its Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper”. He therefore hailed members of the LEITI MSG, whose resolve and commonness of purpose, he said, have made this representation possible. “Members of the MSG reached out to their counterparts in other countries sometimes at their own expense to solicit support for the Liberia’s nominee”, Mr. Tokpah said.
The LEITI Head of Secretariat said, Senator Findley’s election is a victory for the Liberian EITI. “Our voice on the Board will be pivotal in shaping the direction of the EITI at a time when the initiative is faced with many critical decisions including Contract Transparency, project-by-project reporting and incorporating new reporting requirements in Europe and the United States into EITI implementation”.
The mandate of the current Board ends in May 2013, and the new Board, to be confirmed and commissioned at the Global EITI Conference scheduled for May 22-24, 2013 in Sydney, Australia, will serve for the next two years. Liberia was represented on the out-going Board by former Lands and Mines Minister, Dr. Roosevelt Jayjay, who was recently honored by the MSG for his devotion while representing Liberia on the EITI Board.
The Board of the EITI is responsible for providing strategic and policy direction and overseeing the EITI at an international level. It is made up of representatives from each constituency (including governments of supporting and implementing countries, extractive companies and investors, and civil society organizations).