Liberia: LEITI Will Review Licenses to Deter Illegal Mining of Natural Resources
Monrovia – Mr. Jeffery Yate, head of the Liberia Extractive Initiative Transparency Initiative (LEITI), has assured the Liberian Senate that LEITI will review licenses received from the Ministry of Lands and Mines to ensure that people are not illegally mining the country’s natural resources.
Mr. Yate made the assurance Friday, 28 October when he appeared before the Senate to provide requisite information on the status of Liberia’s extractive sector, including compliance of logging companies.
According to him, artisanal mining is one major challenge that is denying Liberia of its natural resources. According to him, the implementation of LEITI has boosted investor confidence, because LEITI is a tool for transparency and accountability, a platform most investors are interested in.
Yates told members of the Senate that the LEITI, under its functions, continues to ensure compliance in the extractive sector by following up on revenue generated in the sector through the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
“Since we came into existence, we have made some achievements. We have been validated three times and we have passed all. We have produced 13 LEITI reports since 2007 and from our report, we have received 1.64 billion dollars in revenue from the extractive sector,” he said.
“These revenues are prudently utilized for the benefits of all the citizens on the basis of equity,” he said.
Yates called for lawmakers’ support which he said would ensure that companies adhere to the LEITI reporting process. He said LEITI will shortly name and shame companies who have refused to comply with the reporting process.
He said, access to concession agreements stands as a major challenge for the LEITI and asked for a working relationship between the Senate and LEITI, where contracts are ratified by the Legislature will be made available to the LEITI, which will include contract transparency.
Yates said: “We want to know the real owners of these companies. We are working with the FIU, the Liberian Business Registry to collect information about some of these companies’ actual owners and publish them. We want to know whether licenses issued by national government met the requirements.”
About the LEITI
The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) is part of the EITI- a global Standard to promote the open and accountable management of extractive resources. LEITI works through a Secretariat guided by a multi-stake holder arrangement comprising the Government, Civil Society Organizations and Private companies to improve the governance of the Extractive sector in Liberia.
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. It seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sectors.
The EITI Standard requires information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how the revenue makes its way through the government, to how it contributes to the economy.
This includes how licenses and contracts are allocated and registered, who are the beneficial owners of those operations are, what are the fiscal and legal arrangements are, how much is produced, how much is paid, where are those revenues allocated, and what is the contribution to the economy, including employment.
Liberia is one of 52 Countries worldwide that are implementing the EITI Standard. Each of these countries is required to publish an annual EITI Report disclosing information on contracts and licenses, production, revenue collection, revenue allocation, and social and economic spending.
Liberia became a part of the EITI Countries by an Act of the Legislature in 2009 after two years of implementing the EITI standard and has since published eight reports with its ninth report in progress. The Liberian Secretariat has had three Heads of Secretariat from 2007 until now.