Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group Approves 12th EITI Report
Monrovia – The Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group (MSG) of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has approved the 12th EITI report for Liberia covering the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources. The initiative requires oil, gas and mining companies to voluntarily disclose their payments to government agencies. The payments are then reconciled with government receipts from the companies and the data is published in the annual EITI reports.
The Chairman of LEITI MSG, C. Mike Doryen, following the adoption of the report on Tuesday, said the 12th report was compiled under the Flexible Reporting Framework adopted by the EITI board.
The Flexible reporting seeks to ensure that EITI implementation safely contributes to global and national responses to the Covid-19 pandemic while upholding commitments to transparency, accountability, and multi-stakeholder dialogue.
It allows implementing countries to retain the momentum of the EITI process while adapting to local circumstances and urgent information needs. Unlike the Conventional Reporting Framework that requires reconciliation between government receipts and companies’ payments, the Flexible Reporting Framework requires unilateral disclosure of financial data by government institutions, Mr. Doryen said.
He said LEITI MSG, at the start of November 2020, commissioned its 12th EITI Report and hired the services of BDO in collaboration with Parker & Associates Liberia, two reputable auditing firms, to prepare the 12th EITI Report for Liberia using the Flexible Reporting Framework.
What’s in the Report
According to the Chairman, LEITI’s 12th EITI report shows that the Government of Liberia generated US$79.63 million as total revenues from the extractive sector in the period under review. With this figure, the report shows that total revenues from the extractive sector increased from UU$68.98 million in 2017/18 to USD79.63million in 2018/19 resulting into a net increase of US$10.65million or 15.4%.
The total extractive sector revenues dropped by 12.2% in the first half of 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, the report noted.
The report also revealed challenges in sectoral oversight, data collection, and licensing processes, among others. The LEITI will begin to work with relevant government ministries and agencies to address these concerns.
For the first time, the Chairman noted, Liberia’s EITI report includes information on beneficial ownership of companies in the oil, mining, agriculture, and forestry sectors. Beneficial Ownership Disclosure is a new requirement under the EITI Standard that implementing countries must adhere to. The Chairman revealed that the LEITI is currently collaborating with the Liberia Revenue Authority, Liberia Business Registry, and other relevant stakeholders to establish a Beneficial Ownership Registry for the extractive sector in keeping with EITI requirements.
He furthered that the MSG also has approved updating of the Mainstreaming Feasibility Study that was first conducted in 2016. Mainstreaming is the process by which EITI information are disclosed using existing government systems. It reduces the cost and enhances the timeliness of publishing EITI disclosures.
With Tuesday’s approval and launch, he said the 12th EITI Report for Liberia is now set to be disseminated across the country to discuss the findings with the citizens, and solicit feedbacks on how to improve the governance of the extractive sector.
The LEITI MSG Chairman, speaking further revealed that Liberia is scheduled for EITI Validation on July 1, 2021 and encouraged every stakeholder to support LEITI by providing the information requested by the Secretariat on time.
“I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to my colleagues on the MSG and the LEITI staff for their collaboration and dedication. You have shown that Liberia has professionals that can positively shift the development paradigm of the country,” he said.
On behalf of the MSG and LEITI Secretariat, he lauded the Government of Liberia for funding the report, adding that it shows the government’s unwavering support to enhancing transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.
“I also want to extend my thanks and appreciation to our development partners for the continuous support to the LEITI. I can assure all stakeholders that LEITI will continue to play its role in ensuring that Liberians benefit from their abundant extractive resources”.