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.
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.
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.”
“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.