Liberia

EITI Status Suspended for missing deadline
Joined EITI in 2008
Latest Data From 2015
Website EITI Liberia
Last updated 11 April 2019

Overview

All of Liberia’s extractive sectors suffered dramatically during the civil war that ended in 2003. The country acted as a major trader in Sierra Leonian blood diamonds and an exporter of timber which was believed to be funding Sierra Leonean rebels. UN sanctions against timber and diamonds were lifted in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Following the inauguration of the Sirleaf administration in 2006, Liberia signed several multibillion-dollar concession agreements in the iron ore and palm oil industries with numerous multinational corporations, including BHP Billiton and ArcelorMittal.

Liberia’s EITI covers the mining and timber sector as well as agriculture and the nascent oil and gas sectors. Since the first EITI report in 2009,  total government revenue reported from the extractives has been increasing from USD 29.5 million (2007-2008)  to over USD 100 million. Liberia latest EITI Report covering the fiscal year 2015 - 2016 highlights total government revenue from the extractive sector at USD 56 million of which mining contributed 49%, oil and gas (exploration) contributed 5%, agriculture 26%  and forestry 20%. 

Extractive industries contribution to the economy

  • NA
    to exports
  • 15 %
    to GDP
  • 26 %
    to government revenue
  • 49 %
    to employment

Beneficial ownership disclosure

Progress on implementing beneficial ownership disclosure 

Liberia took part in the beneficial ownership pilot and attempted to obtain beneficial ownership information for active concessions as well changes in ownership in the period 2009-2011. Although several companies responded, declaring both shareholders as well as natural persons as their owners, the beneficial ownership report (annexes) does not confirm whether the natural persons disclosed were also the beneficial owners. The report includes several recommendations for improving beneficial ownership disclosure in the future.

Liberia's evaluation report from the beneficial ownership pilot explained that access to funding and obtaining information from companies were the major challenges. Liberia had agreed to include sub-contractors in its definition of beneficial owners, which proved difficult to obtain.  Prior to commencing the work on beneficial ownership, LEITI also prepared an inception report outlining the agreed definition of beneficial ownership and scope of companies covered. 

In 2018, Liberia EITI plans to, among other things, organize consultation meetings to consider the optimal institutional framework for beneficial ownership disclosure. Read Liberia's beneficial ownership roadmap below for more information.

Trust is the greatest asset a country can have. Liberia EITI represents an important step in advancing our efforts to engage with stakeholders, to talk about our resources, and to build trust in our communities
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia

Production

Since 2010 Liberia has made significant progress in reviving the mining sector, which before 1990 had contributed more than 65% of the country’s export earnings and represented about 25% of the country’s GDP.

According to the 2015 - 2016 LEITI Report, iron ore was the main commodity produced in 2015/16, with a production volume of about 3 million Mt (115 million USD)  representing almost 41% of the total extractive production. However the prodcution fell by 25% from about 4 million Mt in 2015. Gold production increased the most by 81.7% from 9,205 Oz in 2015 to 50,396 Oz  in 2016. Other production include rubber with 44 thousand Mt and diamond with 59 thousand carat.

During the 2015/16 financial year, there were four operators (Chevron, European Hydro-carbon limited, Anadarko, Exxon Mobil) in the country working through petroleum agreements with NOCAL. These companies are carrying out exploration activities and until now there has been no production of Oil & Gas in the Liberian Basin. 

Natural resources

Liberia is rich in natural resources, notably iron ore, diamonds, gold, timber and rubber. Liberia’s undeveloped mineral resources included base metals, such as cobalt, lead, manganese, nickel, and tin, and industrial minerals, such as dolorite, granite, ilmenite, kyanite, phosphate rock, rutile, silica sand, and sulfur.

CommodityReservesUnitSignificance
OilSurveys have established the presence of essential petroleum factors in the Liberian Basin. However, until now, there has been no production of oil in the Liberian Basin.
Gold9.5 (grade 2.1 g/t) at Ndablama and Weajumetric tonsCommercial gold reserves have also been established at the New Liberty gold mine.
Iron Ore 996metric tonnesA Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) compliant study completed in 2012 confirmed the noted reserves of iron ore.

Revenue collection

Direct Government Revenues from the extractive sector decreased from USD 100.73 million for the FY14/15 to USD 66.37 million for the FY15/16. Total revenue generated from the extractive industries after reconciliation work totaled USD 54.490 million, mining contributing over 49.% of this amount. Extractive revenues represent 6% of Liberia Real GDP. The analysis of Government revenues by sector contribution indicates that the Mining sector contributed for almost 49% of the total Government revenues from the extractives sector during the 2015/16 financial year.

Initializing chart.

Reconciled revenues by top 5 companies

Revenue allocation

The LRA Act, section 26, states that the revenue collected by the LRA shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund. Hence, revenues from the extractive sectors are not earmarked for specific spending or regions in Liberia. The only exceptions are the company CSR contributions.

Policy recommendations and reforms

There is much public information about existing contracts and concessions in Liberia, although there are less available details on the licensing processes and procedures for allocating these contracts and licenses. A Post Award Process Audit conducted by LEITI in 2013 found that only 10% of the contracts awarded in the period between July 2009 and December 2011 were in compliance with the applicable rules. In light of these findings, LEITI's report covering the fiscal year 2012/13 found that more information on licensing processes could help to ensure that these are made in accordance with the legal frameworks. In December 2016, a Post Award Process Audit II for the period 2 January 2012 to 30 June 2015 was published. 

The 2015 - 2016 report highlights a number of reforms that the Liberian Government has advanced in order to improve public financial management.Prominent amongst the institutional reforms undertaken are:

  • Enactment of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Acts
  • A rollout of Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) to 19 government Ministries and Agencies
  • Development and implementation of the Human Resources (HR) management module at the Civil Service Agency for personnel management and payroll processing
  • Completion, approval and subsequent implementation of the Medium Term Debt Strategy (MTDS) for prudent debt management
  • Establishment of effective internal audit functions in 37 Ministries and Agencies
  • Completion of the review of the backlog of audit reports by the Public Account Committee
  • Deployment of Standard Integrated Government Tax Administration System (SIGTAS) in the small, medium and large tax units to strengthen tax compliance.

Innovations

The EITI encourages multi-stakeholder groups to explore innovative approaches to make the EITI more relevant and useful.

Implementation

Liberia has an impressive record of EITI implementation and has been using the process innovatively to investigate such key areas of concern – particularly whether contracts were allocated correctly, but also whether companies paid what they owed and whether earmarked funding went where it should. However, these efforts were only marginally successful in answering those broad questions since other data collection systems are weak.

LEITI's 2015/16 report was due on 30 June 2018. On 28 June 2018, Liberia submitted a request for an extension of the reporting deadline. The Board decided on 4 September 2018 that Liberia is ineligible for an extension. Therefore, in accordance with provision 8.2 of the Standard, Liberia is suspended. 

Governance 

Liberia’s EITI is governed by the 2009 LEITI Act and its regulations. See MSG policy manual, five-year strategic plan for FY2017/18 to FY2019/20, communications strategy, and LEITI operations manual for more information.

Timeline

Validation

Liberia's Validation against the 2016 Standard commenced on 1 July 2016. Liberia was found to have achieved meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard on 24th May 2017. 

Liberia's second validation is scheduled for 24 November 2018. On 28 June 2018, Liberia submitted a request for an extension of the commencement of the second Validation. The Board decided on 4 September 2018 that Liberia is ineligible for a Validation deadline extension. 

Liberia's progress by requirement can be found in the scorecard below. 

Liberia's progress by requirement

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