Liberians Can Now Pay Taxes Via Orange Money; Pres. Weah Launches New Platform
Monrovia – Liberian President H.E. George Oppong Weah launched Thursday the 12th of April a new service that will allow Liberian tax payers to pay their taxes via Orange Money. The service is a collaborative effort led by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and its partners at the United States Aid for International Development (USAID), the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Orange Liberia. Orange is the first telecom operator to officially launch the service with GOL authorities.
Introducing the new service, the head of the LRA Madam Elfreda S. Tamba declared that it was a successful initiative that had been created with the intent to make payment of taxes more convenient and transparent. Mrs. Tamba proudly announced: “with this service, one can pay their taxes from the comfort of their homes, offices, or even while on the move. We decided to allow the payment of all forms of taxes including individual, corporate, real estate, presumptive, excise, goods and service and other withholdings. We also allow payments for birth certificates, marriage certificates, travel clearance, fire service and business registration.”
Mrs. Tamba went on to highlight that the system would make a significant positive impact on tax payers, reflecting that in the past, tax payers would some time have to close their businesses and spend long hours waiting in ques to pay their taxes. “This is no doubt a boost to strengthening domestic resource mobilization and increase voluntary compliance.” The Head of the United Bank of Africa Mr. Olalekan Balogun concurred with Madam Tamba noting: “today is a milestone for UBA because this will provide efficiency, convenience and transparency in the way we collect taxes for LRA. It is a transformation because this will change the way people pay their taxes, and how LRA can ensure an enhanced and more robust collection process.”
The President of the Republic of Liberia H.E. George Weah officially launched the service by becoming the first citizen of Liberia to pay taxes using the Orange Money service. In remarks prior to using Orange Money to make a payment on his real-estate taxes, President Weah said: “our e-revenue strategy is to increase revenue collection efficiency through technology in order to be able to better redistribute collected money for our developmental pro-poor agenda. This service helps to improve efficiency, helps achieve policy outcomes and contributes to economic policy objectives. It helps to build trust between the government and its people.”
President Weah went on to demonstrate the Orange Money mobile platform by making a payment on his real estate taxes. After going through the prompts on his mobile phone, the President announced: “transaction successful!” He commended Orange and the LRA and said “I am here this morning to encourage all taxpayers to promote e-government by paying their taxes through Orange Money tax payment. I am pleased to launch the mobile money tax payment with Orange as part of our pro-poor agenda.
In response Mr. William Saamoi Director for Legal, Regulatory and Governmental Affairs at Orange Liberia who spoke on behalf of the company’s CEO Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly said: “Orange Liberia extends gratitude to the government through the LRA for opening this unique partnership between the government and Orange Liberia for the creation of this platform for the payment of taxes via Orange Money.” He also thanked the UBA and USAID who had contributed to the process. “Today we are proud to say that with the collaboration of our partners, we are the first telecom operator who has been able to develop a tax payment system through our platform that is not only user friendly, but also very convenient, flexible and highly efficient on capturing information on payments made by tax payers,” said Mr. Saamoi. He concluded that the service would have a significant impact in helping the government raise taxes to contribute to “implementing the government’s pro-poor agenda for the economic development of the country and enhancement of the lives of Liberians.”