Ambassador Intelmann said, a substantial component of the mission’s support to the Liberian Government in the coming years would involve assisting the governance reform process, noting that LEITI in its role as watchdog of the extractive sector would be a strategic partner of the delegation.
The Head of the EU Delegation also raised concerns on the Government’s existing community entry strategies during the award of concessions. She noted that a special assessment done by the EU in the forest sector recently as part of the processes leading to the signing of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) showed that most of the communities have not been fully involved in the concession award processes.
Ambassador Intelmann was speaking today when she paid a courtesy visit at the LEITI Secretariat, seeking to know the status of the EITI Program in Liberia.
Earlier providing update on the process, LEITI Head of Secretariat Konah D. Karmo said, over the years, the LEITI has consistently published taxes and revenue data disclosed by companies and government, enhancing public debates on the transparent management of the extractive sector.
He mentioned other important undertakings of the Initiative, including the publication of the Post Award Process Audit Report seeking to enhance transparency in the contract award process and the robust youth engagement campaign intended to promote youth understanding of the EITI process and enhance their participation in policy decision making around resource transparency.
The LEITI Head of Secretariat also disclosed that the Initiative is currently conducting a Beneficial Ownership Disclosure exercise which would lead to the compilation of a publicly available registrar that would contain ownership information on the major concession companies in Liberia. He also noted that amongst others things, the LEITI has embarked upon simplifying all contracts in the extractive sectors to ensure that the average citizens understand the terms of these agreements which in their original versions, are voluminous and complex.
The Head of Secretariat however disclosed that amidst these achievements, LEITI is faced with huge logistical and financial challenges. Mr. Karmo said budgetary allocations for the LEITI needs to be augmented to allow the implementation of the planned activities especially given that Liberia will face EITI Validation next January. The LEITI Boss noted that failing validation next year will be an embarrassment for Liberia as the country has been consistently recognized as leader in global EITI implementation.