March 23, 2023

LEITI Calls For Coordinated Action To Reduce Corruption In Liberia’s Extractive Sector

Monrovia- The Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) urged all Liberians to indiscriminately take part in the battle against the corruption threat facing the nation’s extractive industries.

According to LEITI Secretariat, Liberia is not an exception to the rule that states lose a significant portion of their domestic resources from the extractive industry to illicit financial flow, tax evasion, corruption, and fraud. The Secretariat is adamant that if the fights against the illicit financial flow, tax evasion, corruption, and fraud in the extractive industry transform from words to actions, Liberia’s earnings from the sector can quadruple! It will therefore take strong political will, independence, honesty, dedication, and financial support for Integrity Institutions to turn words into deeds.

LEITI contends that the country’s natural resources can only serve all of its residents if it recognizes and makes use of the benefits that come from their exploitation and/or exploration. If Liberians do not address corruption holistically in light of the fact that natural resources are finite, it will erode this reality. The sooner Liberians learn to guard these God-given blessings, the better for the nation. Jeffrey N. Yates, the secretariat’s head at LEITI, asserts.

Yates points out that although Liberians must take ownership of these procedures for them to be successful, Liberia and its development partners are making efforts to establish tools and anti-corruption measures in the sector.

The CEO of LEITI is of the opinion that when there is total openness regarding the behavior and operation of the extractive sector’s value chain from benefit realization to exploration the country’s revenue envelope will steadily grow to support regional and societal development. All hands must be on deck for this to happen, especially the Liberians who stand to gain the most. Yates claims.

The mining, oil and gas, forestry, and agricultural extractive industries make up Liberia’s extractive industry, which accounts for 52% of the country’s GDP in 2019. The mining industry is mainly supported by the production and export of iron ore, gold, and diamonds. Oil and gas are still being explored, but production has not yet started. The extractive industry produced 93% of all export earnings and 15% of government revenue in 2018 and 2019, according to EITI reports.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global standard that encourages income transparency in the extractive industries of resource-rich nations, includes the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI). It works to ensure openness with regard to payments made to and receipts of funds by the Government from businesses operating in the relevant industries.

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