SOEs Urged to Pay-up Tax Arrears, Budget Support

Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, on Friday, May 31, 2019 hosted a meeting with State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) on “critical” issues concerning the SOEs.

The meeting, which was held in the auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was chaired by MFDP Minister Samuel D. Tweah, and co-chaired by Nathanial F. McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs with focus on SOEs tax arrears, budget support for the fiscal year 2018/2019, SOEs budget estimates for fiscal year 2019/2020, improving SOEs revenue performance, and SOEs reforms.

Tweah stressed the need for SOEs to meet their tax obligation of US$9.27 million that is legitimately due the government, and the need for SOEs meeting their budget support obligation by the end of the fiscal year 2019.

He applauded those SOEs who have met their budget support obligation, but encouraged them to do more in the wake of the government’s limited fiscal space.

Mr. Tweah also called on SOEs on the adherence of the President’s mandate on SOEs salary harmonization and adjustment, which are to be deposited into the salary adjustment account at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), and encouraged SOEs to abide by the President’s mandate and make the deposit of the savings that have already been applied to employees.

In his second State of the Nation address, President Weah said his government would review performances and revenues from the country’s State-owned enterprises, ensuring that leakages or inefficiencies do not undercut the ability of government to support its people.

According to the records of the Revenue Forecasting Unit at the MFDP, as of the third quarter of the fiscal year, 55% of the estimated budget target of the sector has been realized, and deposited into the Consolidated Fund Account at the CBL.

Tweah then encouraged SOEs executives to make a concerted effort to meet their commitment as per the budget as the fiscal year draws to a close.

SOEs executives, on the other hand, spoke of series of challenges in their respective sector, and called on the government to be forthcoming in settling debt obligation for services delivered to their respective entities.

Mr. McGill also called on SOEs to create a synergy among themselves to enhance revenue generation of their respective entities.

McGill stressed the need for such meeting to be held once every month where SOEs executives will have the opportunity to meet with the president, and share some of their challenges in the sector.

The meeting was attended by the National Port Authority (NPA) managing director, Bill Twehway; Liberia Petroleum Refining Company managing director, Nyemadi D. Pearson; National Transit Authority managing director, Herbie T. McCauley; chairperson, Board of Commissioners of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority, Ivan Brown; and the director of SOE Unit at the MFDP, Benedict G. Fully.


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