The National Bureau of Concessions Director General Madam Ciata Bishop says concessionaires in Liberia contribute about 65 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP.
She said in 2013, payments of financial obligations both in “direct and indirect taxes” amounted to about $68m US Dollars, about ten percent of Liberia’s budget. At the launch of a Concession Information Management System and Concession Reporting Template in Monrovia, Madam Bishop named Liberia’s four main types of concessions as agriculture, forestry, the PTPs such as the APM Terminals operating the Monrovia Port and some other instruments that the NBC monitors- mining such as gold and iron.
She says all the concessions done so far in Liberia amount to 11 percent, in an attempt to dismiss public fears that government awarding “all the concessions out” to companies. In a power-point presentation at the Monrovia City Hall Thursday, Madam Bishop explained that the end goal of the tool is to empower the public with information regarding the concessions here and their contributions, the number of people working with each of the concessions, among others.
Officially launching the program, Cllr. Seeward Cooper thanked the USAID and the Liberian Government, saying the program enables “us” to ensure that there is accountability and transparency in the sector. Above all, Cllr. Cooper says it enables government to have a good governance system, as he declared the “software” launched for the effective use of the country and its people to know about what’s happening in the concession sector.
Introducing the program Thursday, the Deputy Director General for Concession at the National Bureau of Concessions Atty. Ramses T. Kumbuyah said the tools will make monitoring and evaluation much easier for the national bureau of concession, and also instill consistency in the approach and reporting by the concessionaire.
He told the audience that the tools will also facilitate electronic storage, easier retrieval of analysis of concession monitoring and evaluation areas. He concluded that concession granting agencies, the inter-ministerial coordinating committees, and other stakeholders of interest will all benefit from the tools.
The House Committee Chair on Concession Rep. Eugene F. Kpaka said monitoring in the concession here had been lacking, as he challenged the National Bureau of Concession or NBC not to be a “toothless bull dog.”
He suggested that as the NBC monitors, it should be able to take actions aimed at bringing results, as he pledged the Legislature’s support in as much the entity operates within its scope of authority.
By Winston W. Parley – Edited by Othello B. Garblah