Liberia: Petro Trade Calls On Government To Create Levelled Playing Field
Monrovia – The Chief Coordinating Officer of Petro Trade, Mr. Abraham Kaydea, has called on National Government to create a level playing field for all companies operating within the downstream Petroleum Sector in Liberia, especially when it comes to the issue of compliance with the laws of the land. Mr. Kaydea made the call recently after his company, Petro Trade Inc., were recognized and certificated by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) as the second highest taxpayer within the Petroleum Industry in Liberia.
Petro Trade received the Award at a special Tax Appreciation Day Dinner program organized by the LRA and its development partners USAID and UNDP under the theme, “Increase Tax Compliance to Enhance Resource Mobilization”. The program brought together companies from many different industries and was graced by high-level functionaries from the Government of Liberia and its development partners. Many different categories of Awards were presented on the night to different recipients, such as Most Compliant Taxpayer, Highest Contributor, Pacesetter and other Special Certificates of Achievement. Recipients came from diverse areas such Real Estate, General Merchandise, Petroleum, Customs Brokerage, Minerals (Gold, Silver, Bronze), as well as e-Filing. Petro Trade was certificated on the night as the Second Highest Taxpayer within the Petroleum Sector.
Speaking to this paper shortly after his company received the prestigious award from the LRA, Mr. Kaydea appreciated the Liberia Revenue Authority for recognizing his company and conferring such an honor on his entity. He said that he was humbled by the recognition and promised to cooperate with the LRA and other government entities in promoting the interests of the country.
Mr. Kaydea however alleged that the burden of paying taxes and complying with the law fell disproportionately on large companies such as his own, which have made visible effort to modernize their infrastructure over the years. Mr. Kaydea believes that the focus of Government regulation within his industry is on companies with visible, well developed infrastructure such as Petro Trade. But there were many other players within the petroleum industry that were sub-standard and unregulated. Unregulated and sub-standard players within the industry not only compete with legitimate taxpayers, but they also deprive government of much needed revenue.
Mr. Kaydea further explained that he believes that the Petroleum industry in Liberia is healthy and competitive. He said that he welcomes the competition and he want for all Liberians to be able to participate in the growth and development of their country. All he wants is for the government to equally apply the law to all. He truly believes that bringing unregulated petroleum dealers into compliance will be a good thing for the industry. The businesses will still be able to operate whilst complying with the highest standards of health and safety and bringing in additional revenue to the Government of Liberia.