Petroleum Importers Owe US$20.8M to Road Fund

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The Road Fund is intended to fund road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance in the country

-House of Representatives Worries over Budget Shortfall

Major petroleum importers in Liberia are still reneging on paying taxes, in the amount of US$20,894,620, intended to fund road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance across the country, the House’s Committee on Public Works told Plenary of the House of Representatives.

According to reports, of the US$21,180,265 amount due, only US$285,645 was paid by Conex, with the balance of US$20,874,620.

The Report said: “Conex paid US$285,645 with the balance due of US$6,681,631; Srimex owes US$4,118,206;  Mayoubah & Sons, Inc. owes US$4,118,206; Kailondo Petroleum owes US$183,647; and Petro Trade owes US$1,087,347.”

It added: “Aminata & Sons owes US$2,804,030; MOTC owes US$1,736,894; Nexium Petroleum owes US$488,260; West Oil Investment owes US$2,858,565 and NPP Liberia owes US$726,403.”

On Thursday, February 28, 2019, during the 15th day sitting, the House’s Plenary unanimously voted for the Committee on Public Works, chaired by Grand Bassa County District #3 Representative Matthew Joe, to negotiate the payments of arrears (road fund levies) to the government as required by the Act that created the National Road Fund (NRF). The Committee is expected to report within one week.

LRA Caution

The Daily Observer has gathered that the Liberia Revenue Authority on November 8, 2018 communicated with Mr. Emmanuel T. Togba, CEO of the Aminata & Sons; Mr. George Kailondo, Managing Director of Kailondo Petroleum and Mr. Amadu Sheriff, General Manager/CEO of Mayoubah & Sons Inc., calling on them to make payments of their arrears.

The communications, signed by Decontee T. King-Sackie, Deputy Commissioner General for Technical Affairs of the LRA, specified the respective amounts the companies owed 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, the House’s Public Works Committee said.

Aminata & Sons has earlier questioned the collection of fees for the road fund, prompting a lawsuit action. Although the case was later withdrawn, there are still concerns about the company’s unwillingness to pay the levy.

For Kailondo Petroleum, Mr. Kailondo is on record, saying that his firm owes the government no money. “The money I owed, I paid to other people – I paid to tank owners and I have those receipts, I just need to write the LRA. I will furnish them with the records by tomorrow,” Mr. Kailondo ranted.

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