The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) in collaboration with Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has underscored the importance of paying taxes and called on business owners to fully engage in paying their taxes to support government’s development agenda.
Stephen Marvie, Deputy Minister designate for Commerce and Trade Services, made the assertion on Monday during the official launch of the first Mobile Business Registration, held at the Robertsport City Hall in Grand Cape Mount County.
“The launch of this service shows that we have brought government services to the people and also a form of opportunity for us to have business formalized. We have now taken the initiative to reach out to the people and decentralize government’s activities that businesses or owners can pay their taxes without going to Monrovia,” Minister Marvie said.
According to him, the launch of the new program is in relation to the conversations held during the Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) annual conferences, during which business owners repeatedly requested the government to take the services to the various counties, classifying the Mobile Business Registration as the first step.
“The second step will be to encourage other government ministries and agencies to use this platform to deliver services to the people. The people need more government services in the rural areas and will assure them of receiving more services, especially to people in other parts of the country,” he said.
Minister Marvie said the new initiative, which involves the Liberia Revenue Authority and National Social Security and Welfare Corporation, as well as Liberia Business Registry, targets thousands of businesses across the country with the aim of ensuring that the informal sector is formalized.
He said despite the low population of some counties, the program will initially target several counties, including Grand Cape Mount, Nimba, Bong, Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh, and will continue until the entire country is captured.
Also speaking, Darlington Tarlery, Commissioner for Domestic Taxes, called on the business community in Grand Cape Mount County to legalize their businesses through the payment of taxes, which will also assist the government in bringing and fast tracking development.
“We have been sitting and allowing you to come to us and have your registration completed; that takes some time to get your certificate to you, but stakeholders from government have decided to reach out to businesses and have you register in the county,” Commissioner Tarlery said.
He stressed that development starts from within a country, and urged business people to regularize the habit of paying their taxes, which would subsequently lead to the development of the country.
“The schools, clinics, roads and other initiatives of the government come from the taxes being paid. Liberia is getting there when it comes to development; everyone needs to contribute through the payment of taxes,” he said.
Meanwhile, the business community in Robertsport has lauded the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and other partners for the service and called on them to ensure that the initiative is sustained.