Pro-Temp Chie wants accountability in extractive industry
By Ethel A Tweh
The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate Albert Chie called for accountability in the Liberian extractive industry while advancing several reform measures aimed at achieving macroeconomic stability and the creation of an enabling environment for public sector spending.
In his statement setting the agenda for the final sitting of the fifth Session Tuesday, 18 October 2022, Chie commended the effort of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for its collection effort.
But he stressed that it was important for LRA to pay key attention to the extractive industry which, according to him, holds significant potential for revenue generation.
He named mining, logging, and commercial farming in palm, rubber, coffee, and fishery.
He also noted that transparency and accountability in the sector are key for government revenue generation, and at the same time stimulate economic activities in the host communities.
Chie also indicated that the small and medium-scale mining sectors have excellent potential as a source of government revenue and at the same time improve the lives of the mining communities.
But he noted that there is also a need for reform, especially so when foreigners have invaded the sectors, aided by some local authorities.
Pro-Tempore Chie also used the occasion to call for inter-agency efforts involving the security architecture and other relevant agencies including the LRA as well as the Department of Mines and the Inspectorate Division responsible for licensing regulation to come up with measures to control widespread illicit mining associated with the smuggling of mineral commodities.
Commenting on the logging sector, Pro-Tempore Chie said, logging which is a high potential revenue earner, has performed poorly over the years and as such, there is also a need for reform.
He added that it is disappointing to note that while logging companies used to maintain feeder roads, the companies now depend on the government to maintain the roads they ply.
Meanwhile, Pro-Tempore Chie is calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to prepare appropriate legislation to either scrap or amend the duty-free privilege on gasoline and diesel fuel for government agencies and institutions, noting there have been reports of widespread misuse of the privilege.–Edited by Winston W. Parley