Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah says achieving the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity remains a challenge in the absence of a strategic domestic resource mobilization (DRM) strategy, a release said.
Mr. Nah said the DRM strategy already crafted at the LRA will serve as a strategic and imperative document in guiding the authority in meeting its annual revenue targets to fund national development projects.
He added that revenue envelope needs to grow and that concrete innovative actions, including opening up and getting the country’s economy working are required through appropriate strategies.
Mr. Nah spoke recently at the LRA Headquarters at the opening of a two-day technical review exercise of the draft DRM Strategy. The DRM Strategy presents a comprehensive innovative framework on how to expand Liberia’s tax base and minimize revenue loss.
According to the release, the strategy further seeks to accelerate economic growth through the initiation of vigorous undertakings that would attract meaningful investments and improve service delivery in the country.
The technical review session was part of efforts to evaluate the document before submission to national and international stakeholders for further appraisal and later endorsement by the cabinet for implementation.
Mr. Nah described the DRM Strategy as a key instrument to boost revenue generation, which is a critical component of achieving the government’s development agenda.
He encouraged stakeholders to thoroughly dissect document and pointed out that it is about time Liberia expands its tax net through the process of triangulation.
“We need to put in new strategies and innovation so as to shift the paradigm to avoid being at the same budget level every year,” Nah said.
He stressed the importance for taxpayers to be compliant and committed to paying their fair share of tax obligations due the state as a means of supporting national development.
He wants the key sectors including fisheries and tourism among others to be expanded to attract foreign investors to correspondingly increase revenue collection.
LRA Domestic Resource Mobilization Advisor Momodou S. Foon, said the DRM Strategy forms the basis for self-reliance and growth in revenue for Liberia.
The International Tax Consultant said there is a need for a special attention to be given to the mining sector to help improve and generate more revenue from the industry.
Foon reported that Liberia’s mining sector has been operating for centuries and contributes only 18 percent of GDP to the economy, but pays zero percent in taxes, something he said is worrisome.
He said with the current low rate of foreign investment, it’s about time that Liberians rally more support and focus on increasing more domestic resources for the future benefits of all Liberians.
The development of the strategy is in tandem with global crusade highlighting DRM as pivotal for African countries to finance post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Africa Action Agenda of 2063.
The LRA and partners in April and May this year, held two separate validations in Grand Bassa and Bong Counties to solicit relevant inputs from stakeholders the 15 counties.