CSO Rejects Call for LRA Commissioner’s Removal

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Commissioner General Tamba

A civil society organization (CSO) named and styled the Societal Reform Initiative for Peacebuilding Network of Liberia, has rejected calls by a group of individuals calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Liberia (CCL) and that has  called on President George Weah not to reappoint the current Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Elfrieda Tamba, whose tenure ends this month.

Giving reasons for President Weah not to reappoint Madam Tamba, CCL’s spokesman Sonco Harris said his group is against officials who were appointed by the last government to serve in their tenures. “They are not the only ones qualified to work, so we want the president to appoint someone other than Madam Tamba,” Harris, whose members began their campaign last Friday, told the Daily Observer yesterday.

Harris could not display any evidence but stated that the recent US$15 million revenue that the LRA collected means that such an amount was collected in the past but was allegedly misused. Without any evidence against her, he simply pointed fingers at Madam Tamba. There has also not been any accusation against LRA Commissioner General Tamba.

Madam Decontee T. King-Sackie, Deputy Commissioner for Technical Services, LRA

In a counter-reaction yesterday, the Societal Reform Initiative for Peacebuilding Network of Liberia in a statement signed by its national chairman Amos B. S. Kanneh, said the re-appointment of Madam Elfrieda Tamba and her principal deputies, including Madam Decontee T. King-Sackie, Deputy Commissioner for Technical Services, and Mr. Oliver N. Rogers, II, Deputy Commissioner for Administration at the Liberia Revenue Authority, will be the prudent decision for the president to take.

In a statement issued on June 20, the organization said it has followed the operations of the LRA under the administration of Madam Elfrieda Tamba as Commissioner-General, which has brought sanity to the increased revenue collection for the government and therefore described the call and the protests against her re-appointment as weak and a ploy intended to derail the many years of service of commitment by the Commissioner General and her team.

Mr. Oliver N. Rogers, II, Deputy Commissioner for Administration, LRA

The organization also said the removal of Commissioner Tamba could be a setback to the “progressive revenue collection” that her administration has set in motion, to ensure that revenues are collected for the country’s development.

The group also described the call against Commissioner Tamba’s reappointment as “unfortunate and unjust” because  Madam Tamba and her deputies have demonstrated robustness in the collection of Liberia’s domestic revenue. “Madam Elfrieda Tamba and her team have uncompromisingly collected the country’s taxes and other revenues through the rigorous implementation of revenue laws and codes,” the release said.

It also said the collection of a record US$15 million in the Month of May 2018 at the Freeport of Monrovia is a testament to the effort and time expended by the staff of the LRA under the leadership of Madam Tamba, which has helped the government to meet its budgetary targets for its “Pro-Poor Agenda.”

Some of the protesters near the Foreign Ministry office of President Weah yesterday

“This effort would not have been possible in the absence of closing revenue leakages and instituting modernization and informational initiatives by Commissioner Tamba’s administration,” the release said.

The organization meanwhile called on President George Weah to maintain the current commissioners of the Liberia Revenue Authority in the persons of Commissioner-General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, Madam Decontee T. King-Sackie as Deputy Commissioner for Technical Services and Mr. Oliver N. Rogers, II as Deputy Commissioner for Administration.

“If the Pro-Poor Agenda of the government is to succeed in meeting its program’s objectives in the interest of the Liberian people, Madam Tamba should stay at the core of domestic revenue collection,” the release concluded.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. We should not use collection of Government revenues to justify or aid the “pro-poor ” platform of any sitting administration, or this one because Liberian Presidents are elected for a set period of time, but revenue collection is the nation’s financial burden. This is not a party issue. As you can see, the President has initiated programs that will jump start his “pro-poor” plan. His housing projects, infrastructures constructions to provide employment of the needed, for instance. Notwithstanding, this autonomous bureau (LRA) created under the past administration if necessary, has become legal is intended to help the collection of such government funds to be budgeted and allocated by standard financial procedures. It is an executive function to replace such minute LRA operations as compared to aid ministerial level directly, indirectly or even transfer commissioners where suitable as the need be, especially where there are smells of misuse of public funds within. In short , the President of Liberia is at option to his investigative audit or replace them if proof shows, incompetence, brought over corruption, or their stealing. No commissioner over there is elected. No individual or selected group can mandate his Presidential actions. It is his discretionary right to select his term LRA in the interest of the people of Liberia that have this power to mandate in a referendum already given him by electing him as the chief executive. We must observe the three branches of this Liberian Government. Do not reply my box. No more free knowledge.
    Gone to silence

    • Do you know how many jobs Mr. Weah’s pro-poor development agenda has created? Or what the projected job creation is? We don’t know that because there is no development plan. Building one or two villages will not improve the economy. So far this President is running the government by the seat of his pants and that’s not the way to govern a country. He needs a development plan so the Liberian people can get behind it. That’s how you inspire a nation. Running around and singing ‘pro-poor, pro-poor’ is not a plan. It’s a slogan.

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