LRA Underscores Stronger Border Management

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The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) is calling for a stronger security and customs border regime at the country’s various borders and ports of entry to enhance national security and revenue generation.
The Commissioner of Customs at the LRA Saa Saamoi says an effective coordination in border management is cardinal to the security, economy and development of the Liberian state.
He called on the border management team to work in harmony against contrabands, arms, drug smuggling, and other illegal activities that endanger the lives of citizens and undermine the security of the state.
Speaking recently at the Liberian-Ivorian border in Loguatuo, Nimba County, Commissioner Saamoi said, “You are the eyes of the Liberian people to control what enters and gets out of our country, and in raising revenue to support national development.”
Addressing a meeting of customs officers and the joint security at the Loguatuo Border, Commissioner Saamoi said in the absence of coordination and cooperation, those assigned at the borders of the country would disappoint the Liberian people when they respectively fail to scrutinize what or who enters or leaves the country.
He said though the two lead agencies in border management are Customs for taxes and Immigration for passengers, all other security agencies including the police, national security agency and the drug Enforcement Agency have also important roles to play in protecting the state.
He said when they work as a professional team of people, they will detect and abort illegal border trade such as arms and drug smuggling as well as other illicit activities.
The Customs Commissioner urged the border team to cooperate with the customs officers assigned at the borders in the execution of their duties to collect the legitimate revenue due the government, noting that customs alone accounts for 40% of the over US$622 million fiscal budget for 2015/16. “He emphasized that this revenue must be generated at Free Port, Loguatuo, Jorwah, Mendicorma, Ganta, Bo-Waterside, Robertsfield and other borders of our country”.
Commissioner Saamoi said, if revenue is not raised, government will not be able to meet its target of improving the schools, roads, hospitals or even paying civil servants.
For his part, Domestic Tax Commissioner Darlingston Talery, called for patriotism in building Liberia. “This country belongs to us, and we, not Ghanaians and Malians, must build it, and we can do so by paying our personal income, real estate and business income taxes.”
He added that when people pay their real estate taxes they empower the government to undertake more development. Commissioner Talery commended businesses and Liberians across the counties for paying their taxes even during the heat of the Ebola crisis and called on them to continue in good faith.
Commissioners Saamoi and Talery were jointly leading an LRA delegation to Margibi, Bong and Nimba Counties to sensitize citizens and the business community on paying their taxes and customs duties.
The Assistant Commissioner of Customs Ports Operations, Edwin F. Kendema, and the Acting Manager for Collectorate Tax Section, Bob N. Johnson, accompanied the commissioners on the tour, an LRA press release said.

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