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Liberia: Country risks delisting from Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative after failing to publish reports of companies' payments

Author: Front Page Africa, Published on: 25 October 2019

"Liberia on Verge of Delisting from Global Extractives Industry Transparency Body Risking further Blow to Economy", 15 October 2019.

Liberia risks being delisted from the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative...if it doesn’t meet a deadline set for December 31 to file overdue reports according to Bady Balde, EITI’s Africa Director...EITI member-states are mandated to publish periodic reports of companies’ payments. Liberia, which became the first implementing member country in 2009, was initially a high performer, but it has not submitted a report since 2016...Liberia was suspended in September 2018 for failing to meet earlier deadlines. December 31 will be the final deadline to avoid removal...

In March this year, President George Weah fired Konah Karmo, then head of LEITI, and appointed Gabriel Nyenkan. It was a move that ran counter to the EITI’s standard process which recommends the country secretariat be selected by the multi stakeholder group (MSG). The MSG comprises the government, private sector and civil society. Nyenkan’s forceful takeover of the institution, with the aid of armed police, made headlines at the time...Nyenkan, who went on to face criticism for his management of LEITI, was removed by President Weah after the EITI international secretariat’s mission to Liberia in early September...

Signing up to the EITI is vital in assuring potential investors that a country is transparent in its operations and that mining royalties are going to the right government departments and corruption is discouraged...It can also impact International Monetary Fund support...“The country loses credibility in terms of its commitment to international actors and partners and companies and civil society actors,” Balde said...LEITI’s website was a vital tool for journalists and civil society actors in the country. It was a repository of almost all Mineral Development Agreements in the country along with government laws regulating the industry. The LEITI website is currently suspended due to lack of payment...

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