Liberia’s Attorney General and Justice Minister Musa Dean, Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh, Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Commissioner-General Thomas Doe-Nah, as well as Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC) managing director-designate, Marie Urey Coleman, are expected to appear before the annoyed full Plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the House chamber, over the continual delay of the Petroleum Dealers to pay the Road Fund to support the national budget.
Major petroleum importers, including Srimex, Aminata & Sons, Kailando Petroeum and Mayoubah & Sons have been and are reneging on paying taxes intended to fund road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance in the country.
The House of Representatives on Thursday, June 20, 2019, during the 40th day sitting, heatedly expressed their disappointments and frustration over the defaulting major petroleum dealers, after they had agreed to withdraw their case from the court, with the commitment that they would pay the road fund taxes which will hugely support the national budget amid the bad economy.
Reps. Clarence Massaquoi, Joseph Somwarbi, Edward Karfiah, Ben Fofana, Matthew Zarzar and Nathaniel Barway were among some of the lawmakers who voiced their unhappiness and resentments over the ‘unwanted delay.
A motion proffered by Rep. Massaquoi, which summoned the Ministries of Justice, Commerce, the LPRC and the LRA was seconded and voted upon unanimously with raging whispers.
It may be recalled since November 8, 2018, it was communicated to the three major importers, calling on them to make payments of arrears (road fund levies) to the government.
Signed by Decontee T. King-Sackie, Deputy Commissioner general for Technical Affairs of the LRA, the respective letters were addressed to Mr. Emmanuel T. Togba, CEO of the Aminata & Sons; Mr. George Kailondo, Managing Director of Kailondo Petroleum and Mr. Amadu Sheriff, General Manger/CEO of Mayoubah & Sons Inc.
In the letters sent to the three importers aforementioned, the LRA specified the respective amounts the companies owe and attached a payment plan.
According to the plan, the first payments were due to be made on November 30, 2018 and the final payment is expected in April 2019. But no money has been remitted to the NRF.
Conex Oil is said to be the only importer that has so far paid levy intended for the NRF, said the LRA in a response to an inquiry.
How Much Do the Three Firms Owe?
Accordingly, Aminata & Sons owes an adjusted amount of US$2,804,030.45, which the firm is expected to pay in the Road Fund within six months – beginning 30 November 2018 and 30 April 2019.
“In order to ensure your entity meets this payment obligation of the arrears within the fiscal year 2018/2019, we have developed a payment plan attached for the recovery of the remaining Road Fund arrears to the government of Liberia,” the LRA communication says.
Kailondo Petroleum, the LRA says, owes US$183,647.00 to the NRF between November 2018 and April 2019, while Mayoubah & Sons, Inc. owes the NRF US$209,636.00. The firm has been unable to show proof that it had made previous payments to the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company, LPRC.
Unlike the three firms, sources say other major importers are dragging their feet to make payments to the NRF.