Liberia: “We are not slaves to government’’
Business community frowns at LRA’s digital policy
By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberia: The president of the Patriotic Entrepreneur Mr. Dominic Nimely and Mr. Mohammed Majah Barry, president of the Fulah Business Association of Liberia, have expressed serious opposing views against the Digital and Electronic Policy introduced by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
The LRA policy aims to promote effective outcomes within the business sector of Liberia through Information Technology (IT).
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, 1 March 2022, Mr. Nimely claimed that the digital policy which seeks to roll out the integrated financial management system is intended to drive business people from doing business in the country.
He alleged that LRA is now selling computers to businesses for USD$700, US$400 and US$350, among others, as it is being done in supermarkets and other big business areas in the country.
Nimely noted that the program and the policy were brought about by the LRA without informing businesses as stakeholders.
“We are asking the Government of Liberia through the LRA to not impose policy or law on us because we are stakeholders, and we need to make sure that our views are respected,” said Mr. Nimely.
He alleged that the policy is very bad for Liberia, lamenting that the country lacks stable electricity.
According to him, the new policy came up after the LRA demanded the businesses to purchase computers from the revenue collecting agency which has a system installed on the computer to help promote revenue generation for the government.
“The same policy they are fighting to implement in Liberia here was tested in Sierra Leone but it did not materialize because of how things were unstable in the country,” Nimely explained.
He described the entire situation as an affront to the business community, saying LRA’s action shows it does not regard the business community in any decision-making process and policymaking, even though both parties should work as partners to bring success to the government.
“We are advising them to study this policy and stop imposing it on us because this policy will cause Liberians to close and leave to do business in other areas,” he warned.
Giving background of the policy and meeting with the LRA, the president of the Fula Business Association of Liberia, Mr. Mohammed Barrey said they only received communication from LRA to the Liberia Business Association, and the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, informing them about a meeting with the LRA concerning the policy.
Mr. Barry noted that during the meeting, LRA explained to them about the policy and they did not accept it because of the listed factors.
He said the meeting ended in confusion without a comprehensive understanding and the LRA promised to call them back to conclude the meeting.