Robin Dopoe and David Yates
The Liberia Revenue (LRA) announced on Thursday, August 9, that it has collected US$34.04 million in revenues for the month of July 2018, running US$1.96 million short of its US$36 million target for the same month, which is also the beginning of the fiscal year 2018/19.
LRA Acting Commissioner General, Decontee T. King-Sackie in a press statement, noted that the July’s performance is a ‘good starter’, given that it is in the historical range, especially where it exceeded last fiscal year’s number (for the same period) of US$32.3 million by five percent or US$1.74 million.
ACG King-Sackie added that the prospect for revenue collection looks hopeful with the resumption of the collection of the road fund which levies US$0.30 (30 cents) on each gallon of petroleum imported into Liberia.
“US$31 million in road fund is expected to be collected for this fiscal year and that the LRA has already begun receiving payments for the road fund—with about US$58,000 collected in July, while US$4.43 million is projected for August.
“Improved Customs performance, largely due to the implementation of the centralized customs assessment regime will also boost revenue collection, while the LRA will actively engage ministries, agencies, and commissions of government as well as state-owned enterprises to ensure that their monthly collection plans are provided and implemented,” she said.
For fiscal year 2018/19, LRA is expected to collect total revenue of US$570.14 million, of which US$561.62 million or 89 percent is on account of domestic revenue.
However, Madam King-Sackie decried the depreciation of the Liberian Dollar against the US Dollar. “During FY17/18, the Liberian dollar depreciated by 13 percent against the US Dollar. This led to a revenue loss of US$17.18m on exchange rate translation,” she said.
Meanwhile, Madam King-Sackie has emphasized the need for adequate funding for LRA to enable them for the timely and effective enforcement of the revenue code.