The Board of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has officially lifted the recent suspension placed on Liberia, the Multi-stakeholder Group of Liberia EITI has announced in Monrovia on Monday
The lifting of the temporary suspension on Liberia by the EITI Board took effect since March 6, 2020. The EITI Board suspended Liberia in September 2018 due to its failure to publish EITI Reports for 2016/17 &2017/18, 2019 Annual Work Plan, and 2017/18 Annual Progress Report. The Board reiterated its decision in mid-2019 due to delays in publication of the 2017/18 EITI Report, 2017/18 Annual Progress Report, and 2019 Annual Work Plan.
In September 2019, the MSG took critical action to address the critical challenges facing EITI implementation in Liberia and avoid the country from being delisted from the EITI. The body recruited a Technical Consultant and appointed an Officer-In-Charge to support the MSG complete all outstanding reports by 31 December to avoid the country from being delisted, and subsequently the lifting of Liberia’s suspension.
Following approval of a no-objection request from the PPCC, the MSG appointed BDO (formerly Moore Stephens, LLC UK in collaboration with Parker and Associates Liberia) as Independent Administrator to write the EITI 2016/17 and 2017/18 reports for Liberia. Swiftly, the Government of Liberia provided emergency funding in the amount Two Hundred Seventy-Two Thousand United States Dollars (US$272,000) to fund critical EITI implementation and operational issues. Additionally, funding in the amount of One Hundred Six Thousand United States Dollars (US$106,000) for the report was exclusively provided by the UK Department of International Development, through its local implementing partner MFGAP.
On 31 December, the MSG approved and launched the 2016/17 and 2017/18 EITI reports for Liberia, 2019/2020 Annual Work Plan, and the 2017/2018 Annual Activity in time to meet EITI reporting deadlines to avoid delisting.
“We must also acknowledge the steadfastness of the MSG and all other stakeholders including our local and international partners as well as staff members of the LEITI Secretariat for their commitment and relentless efforts leading to this landmark achievement,” LEITI said in a statement.
In its full decision statement, the EITI Board alluded to the significant strives and gains made by the Liberian Government and stakeholders noting that “within a short timeframe, the Government of Liberia has demonstrated its full commitment to the EITI process, which has led to the restoration of the credibility of Liberia EITI. This is evident from government funding allocated to the process, the publication of the 2016/17 and 2017/18 EITI Reports, the development of a 2019/2020 work plan, and the preparation of the 2017/2018 Annual Progress Report.”
“We must, however, be quick to remind ourselves that the lifting of the suspension comes with a huge task as Liberia’s Second Validation is now slated for July 1, 2020, just four months away. The MSG must now reinvigorate itself for this task and all others.
“While we extolled the President and Government for its commitment to the process so far, we want to appeal the President to continue his unflinching support to the full implementation of the EITI process in Liberia as the Country continues to make strides of historical significance to the global community,” the statement concluded.