Lack of adequate resources for the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) agenda is seriously affecting operations of the Liberian Secretariat, LEITI Secretariat head, has said.
LEITI is the Liberian secretariat established in 2009 to monitor the extractive industries, mineral, timber, oil and gas in order to ensure that lawful revenues are paid by the companies to government, and at the same time, monitor government to ensure that those monies are used for the right purposes.
Addressing journalists recently in Monrovia, Mr. Konah D. Karmo, head of the secretariat, disclosed that the lack of resources is hampering the entity’s expansion, its ability to tackle important responsibilities and other critical operations of the organization.
LEITI also has the mandate to monitor and keep track of how resources from the extractive industries like social development funds, financial aid to agricultural and technical institutions and others are utilized. Karmo expressed his entity’s desire to monitor these cash payments, “but we don’t have the capacity to execute such functions,” he said.
According to him, “LEITI is effectively involved with how much concession companies pay to government, what is remitted to the communities as required. We don’t only stop there, we want to monitor the revenue collected by government and we are interested in keeping the public informed about how the revenue is expended for the good of the people.”
Based on the interest and renewed mandate of LEITI, “the organization wants to follow revenues generated but lack of resources has brought capacity constraints to the secretariat,” Karmo declared.
The need to monitor Liberia's extractive industries, particularly the emerging oil and gas sector, remains a critical component of EITI’s implementation process, he said.
LEITI’s latest comments come as a result of a one-day engagement with media executives aimed at fostering a partnership between the media and the secretariat of the mineral watchdog.