The Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Boima Kamara, has asserted that local resource mobilization is key to the country’s development and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Serving as Chief Launcher at a two-day Montserrado Dialogue on Domestic Resource Mobilization held at the Monrovia City Hall, Minister Kamara noted that the dialogue is a demonstration of taking power and governance to the people and not making decisions at the high table.
According to him, the Montserrado Dialogue is in furtherance of the recent gathering of African Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
African Ministers and leaders gathered in the Ethiopian capital, recently at the annual joint AU-ECA Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for the adoption of 17 resolutions that support Africa’s efforts to implement the SDGs.
He said the conference reaffirmed the need to align the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 20 goals of Africa’s Agenda 2063 in their national plans. The Economic Commission for Africa, African Union Commission, and African Development Bank (AfDB) were requested to develop an integrated monitoring and evaluation framework on the implementation of both agendas.
Therefore, there is a need for Liberia to broaden her tax-base, eradicate waste and leakages, if the country must meet the AU Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.
The leaders in Addis Ababa also recognized that Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 provide a framework for the continent to transition towards a new people-centered development trajectory that combines economic, social, and environmental considerations.
Kamara indicated that domestic resource mobilization is a major component the world-over to development so it is imperative that Liberia strengthens her local resource mobilization strategies and efforts because the country cannot continue to be dependent on international donor funding.
According to him, international development partners will not always be around; and that there are other competing priorities and timelines attached to their work.
The MFDP Minister urged participants at the dialogue to ensure their deliberations reflect Liberia’s current day realities, especially amid the decline of prices of natural resources on the world market.
Also speaking, the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Elfrieda Tamba, said revenue mobilization is everyone’s business given the need for development.
She noted that there is an upcoming National Revenue Summit to be held in early 2017. She further noted that they (LRA, MFDP & UNDP) have held three other dialogues in various counties.
However, she noted that due to bad road conditions, the dialogue had been unable to reach the Southeastern part of Liberia, adding that they intend to do so in December (2016).
She urged participants to make all the necessary suggestions and inputs so as to improve and craft a better revenue strategy in order to raise strong revenue and provide quality service delivery.
The Board Chairman of the LRA, Robert Tubman, thanked UNDP and MFDP for the support to LRA to host the regional dialogue.
Tubman noted that as the SGDs seek to eradicate poverty, diseases, and improve living conditions and develop cities, Liberia as an independent nation must rise to the occasion to ensure that her local resource mobilization is strong and effective if she must compete with other nations in attaining the SDG goals.
He said revenue mobilization must be inclusive; therefore the role of citizens is essential to the process in order to unlock the country’s development potential.
The Development Superintendent of Montserrado County, Sylvester Larmah, and Monrovia City Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo pledged their support to the LRA by ensuring the collection of needed revenues.