By Lewis S. Teh
The officer in charge at the Governance Commission (GC) Madam Elizabeth W. Dorkin reveals that illicit financial flows networks are factors undermining sound governance of natural resources in the country.
“It may interest you to know that the continuous of illicit financial flows networks undermine the sound governance of the natural resources sector”, says Madam Dorkin.
She spoke Wednesday, November 24, 2021, giving an overview of a one-day policy dialogue on illicit financing and Red flag that affects economic growth within the natural resources sector held in Monrovia.
The GC officer-in-charge notes that developing countries, including Liberia, have not been able to reap full benefits of their natural resources due to illicit financial flows, adding that illicit financial flows have to do with the money that ends up benefiting local and foreign elites, rather than the general population.
She continues that those kinds of networks are key sources of corruption in the sense that through them, illegal transfer networks are established to facilitate the outflows of proceeds.
Madam Dorkin says corruption due to such a network undermines the boosting of government revenues through tax evasion practices, including transferred mispricing and mis-invoicing.
Such a situation, according to her, does not only significantly reduce the contribution of mineral resource revenues to national development but worsens inequalities. She says illicit financial flows increase private gains for the few at the expense of public gains for the many.
“Illicit financial flows pose a huge challenge to sustainable logging, fishing, and mineral extraction, it promotes the destruction of the forest, the running down of fishing stocks, and destroy the environment.”
Meanwhile, she says there are red flags that can help the government to prevent illicit financial flow, citing as examples, the rewarding of extractive sector contracts and license that she says can be partly achieved if those who are clothed with the oversight authority ask the right question to detect and prevent corruption in the extractive sector.
Making remarks on behalf of Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Assistant Finance, and Developing Planning Minister Benedict Sannoh extols the GC for the conduct of the policy dialogue, something he says will help the national government find solutions to the pressing issues confronting the country.
He adds that there is a need for the Commission to continue the dialogue for action to be taken on those recommendations that will come up from the dialogue, saying this is about Liberia and the usage of the resources of this country needs to be well accounted for.
“This discussion is taking place at the time where Liberia has experienced the worst mining from 1990-2005. Our mineral and natural resources were exploited from this country where we had greater, and small Liberia.”
Also speaking, the senate committee chair on Concession and Investment, Grand Kru County Senator Numene T.H. Bartekwa notes that the dialogue is very necessary, on grounds that there were actions that needed to be taken to help address illicit financing in the country.
He describes illicit financing as a means of removing money from one point to another without proper accountability, something he says, affects the growth of the country, and also hampers the investment climate here.
“This act we all know affects opportunities; illicit financing also undermines the achievement of our microeconomic and social goals that robbing our government in revenues and tax income that could be used for developmental purposes of our country”.
On behalf of the officer in charge of the African Development Bank or ADB, Daniel Osei Boakye told the gathering that the ADB was delighted to have been a strong supporter.
She says the bank believes that proper financing and acceptable natural resources are guaranteed are considerable ways of reaping the benefits for the people of Liberia.
The one-day dialogue which was conducted under the auspices of the Governance Commission brought together scores of government officials from line ministries and agencies including legislators, Liberian development partners, among others.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/gc-nir-calls-for-synchronize-id-system/ Editing by Jonathan Browne