The Liberia Revenue Authority or LRA – the Government agency responsible to collect revenues, has reported more than US$400 million as domestic revenue generated since its establishment on July 1, 2014.
Disclosing this at a news conference in Monrovia last week, the LRA Director General, Mrs Elfreda Stewart-Tamba, said the institution succeeded in collecting an amount of US$491 million domestic revenue, indicating that a balance of US$17 million is expected to be collected soon, while external revenue is expected in due course.
Mrs. Tamba also disclosed that the entity has so far reported US$8 million to Government of Liberia, and reaffirmed the LRA’s commitment to collect all revenues on behalf of the Government of Liberia in line with its mandate.
She dispelled reports published in two local dailies recently that the entity was performing poorly since its establishment last year.
The reports in the dailies alleged that the LRA could not account for US$4 million. But the Director General Tamba dismissed the information as totally false and misleading, making it emphatically clear that revenues generated by the entity are accounted for.
“This is untrue; we sent a budget of US$15 million to the Executive, but the Legislature approved US$13.1 million; and this budget calls for salary payment, but due to budgetary constraints, we are paying housing and educational allowances to our Tax Collectors”, she added.
On allegation that employees’ allowances were being withheld by the Management, she also denied the information, saying, on the contrary, Management was also providing housing and transportation allowances to its Rural Tax Collectorates across the country.
Contrary to reports that resources of the LRA were being diverted by the management, Mrs. Tamba said her administration can account for every resource, describing the Liberia Revenuel Authority as a transparent institution established by the government to collect revenues on its behalf, and as such, she as head of the entity, can in no way betray the level of trust reposed in her by the government.
Challenging the Liberian media and the public, Madam Tamba said: “You and the public must hold us accountable for whatsoever we do here.” Editing by George Barpeen and Jonathan Browne