Finance Collects More Money Than Last Fiscal Period

 

ImageLiberia's Finance Minister Amara Konneh
Liberia’s Finance Minister Amara Konneh

Liberia’s domestic revenue generation has increased by 17 percent as a result of an effective implementation of the Revenue Enhancement project that was recently initiated by the Ministry of Finance.

Accordingly, the Ministry says it has collected $77m more than in the previous 2012/13 fiscal budget.

The Ministry of Finance, in a release issued Sunday, said its revenue enhancement project is a legitimate operation that is currently closing loopholes in the system.

As a result of the enhancement operations, the Government of Liberia was able to disburse funds for the construction of water kiosks in the West Point area by the Water and Sewer Corporation to address safe drinking water problem in that community, the Ministry said.

Government has also budgeted to construct 10 public latrines in populated communities in Monrovia and its environs to address sanitation and hygiene conditions thereby preventing common diseases that affect residents in those areas.

“The Ministry of Finance is reiterating that the Revenue Enhancement project is authentic and that the operation is consistent with the Public Financial Management Law of Liberia,” the release stated.

The Treasury House notes that a strong check and balance mechanism is already in place to make sure all expenditures made from a dedicated operational fund of $99,000 which was set aside to fund the project are properly accounted under the PFM law.

The Ministry said as misguided elements within the employ of the Ministry of Finance were attempting to defraud Government of much needed revenues especially in our rural ports and collectorates, the Ministry moved quickly to intensify its efforts to seal revenue leakages and strengthen revenue collections. False receipts and duplication of other revenue instruments by rouge agents were causing the government hundreds of thousands of dollars on a daily basis.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Finance proactively launched the Special revenue enhancement operation to ensure that regular and periodic spot checks and audits are conducted on employees and businesses in rural areas. This vigorous and aggressive spot check campaign is ensuring that loopholes are closed and employees are monitored in an attempt to enhance revenue collections.

These operations also came against established evidence that revenue fraud and loopholes were undermining the Ministry’s ability to successfully collect revenues.

This enhancement operation is also focusing on revenue monitoring and awareness across Liberia. Therefore, to support this project, the Ministry decided to set up a dedicated fund to finance the frequent and spontaneous activities including dispatching auditors on the fields, which are required under this project,” the release continued. “The Ministry of Finance strongly believes that fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability can play a critical role in helping to contain corruption and raise the needed resources to finance Liberia’s unwavering development projects. The MoF Authorities regard transparency in government operations as an important precondition for macroeconomic stability, good governance and overall fiscal rectitude.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry has expressed disappointment in some media houses which, instead of seeking the facts surrounding the project, are using the Revenue Enhancement project to scandalize the process. As far as the Ministry is concern, the Revenue Enhancement is a legitimate project that needs to be funded. Revenue enhancement is not only a project, but historically has been a line in the national budget to help expand the domestic revenue base.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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