Ever since President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf boldly pulled Madam Elfrieda Tamba away from her post as Comptroller of the Liberia Bank for Development (LBDI) and Investment, this young woman has proven her mettle.
Leaving LBDI where she had spent most of her professional life, she assumed her new post with vigor, alacrity and integrity and soon, the Revenues Division of the Ministry of Finance became one of the most productive and successful in the nation’s history. It was also seen by many as one of the most efficient and best run segments in the entire government.
Yes, she was criticized by some as being “too difficult with the businesspeople,” but she resolutely pursued her task, and quickly let it be known to all her co-workers in that Division that it was NOT business as usual, where in the past some businesspeople had a field day undermining, through bribery and corruption, the government’s revenue sector.
The GOL‘s revenues began bursting to the seams and Elfrieda Tamba soon became known as a “no nonsense” revenue collector. Many companies, accustomed to cutting corners with revenue personnel, soon found out that things were no longer business as usual; nor was there any mention of the new parlance Liberians, their government and the entire business community have in recent times come to fret and regret—the loathed (detested) “budget shortfall.”
Soon Madam Tamba, with the backing of President Sirleaf, Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan (now Foreign Minister), his successor, Finance Minister Amara Konneh and Dr. J. Mills Jones, Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, began working on an entirely new and more autonomous institution called the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
To be appointed to take the leadership in spearheading this major new autonomous GOL Agency and eventually heading it is nothing short of a distinctive credit to this efficient, and dedicated and patriotic Liberian technocrat, Madam Elfrieda Tamba.
Last Monday, July 1, at the very beginning of the government’s fiscal year, the LRA finally commenced its full operations.
Liberian Chamber of Com-merce President, Francis A. Dennis, Jr., was smart enough to engage Commissioner General Tamba quickly, by inviting her to deliver the Keynote Address to the LCC’s installation of its new officers earlier this week. This turned out to be her Maiden Address as Commissioner General to the business community and the Liberian people.
In her address, she assured everyone that this new institution, the LRA, will govern professionally and ensure that it will not collect one cent more taxes than what the law requires.
“LRA will foster voluntary compliance with tax laws that provide care or complete, accurate and timely guidance with taxpayers, to help them understand and meet their obligations under the law,” the Commissioner General declared.
The Liberian people can be sure that under Elfrieda’s leadership, GOL revenues will be fully accounted for—we are not talking here about expenditure, an exercise that belongs to the Finance Ministry—we are referring to the efficient, effective, honest and patriotic discharge of LRA’s mandate, to collect government taxes.
Having headed the Finance Ministry’s Revenue Division for several years when, after decades of lapses owing to inefficiency, patronage and corruption, she presided over a tax boom in Liberia, Madam Tamba is unquestionably the best person suited for the job.
We call on the Business Community and the Liberian taxpayers to render her their full support, for the LRA’s success, even Finance Minister Konneh will agree, will engender a new day in the country’s economic and financial management.