Liberia publishes its second EITI report

OSLO, 19 FEBRUARY 2010.  Renewing its commitment to improved transparency in Liberia’s natural resource sector, the government of Liberia launched its second EITI report yesterday. The EITI report discloses all payments being made by extractive companies to the government, as well as all payments the government has received from these companies. Last year Liberia became the first African country to become EITI Compliant to the standard of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

This Liberian EITI report covering the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009 includes payments from 71 extractive companies and total revenues of over US$35 million. Of these revenues, agriculture represents 51%, mining 30%, oil 13%, and forestry 5%. Firestone Liberia and ArcelorMittal were the two largest contributors, having reported payments of 28% and 20% respectively of the total government revenues from the extractive sector within this period.

The total net discrepancy between what the government said that they received and the companies said they paid was only US$114,995 - or 0.4 % of the total government revenue from the sector. The independent company chosen to produce the report and reconcile the figures, Moore Stephens, identified several causes for the discrepancies. They included poor accounting systems of the companies, a lack of coordination within the government offices, and failure of seven companies to submit their reporting forms. One of the main discrepancies involves the amount of US$125,959 reported as paid by Cocopa, but which the Government reports to have received only US$30,706. Due to lack of supporting documentation, this discrepancy remains unresolved.

EITI Chairman Peter Eigen welcomed the publication of the second report, saying: “Liberia was the first country in Africa to become compliant with the EITI standard. This EITI report continues to improve transparency in a sector that was at the heart of 14 years of civil war. I applaud Liberia for its continued outstanding progress in bringing transparency and accountability.”

Following the launch of the report, Chairperson for Liberia EITI Hon. Nganfuan said: “The 2nd LEITI Report represents a significant milestone in the implementation of EITI in Liberia and the world at large because it is the first EITI Report to include the disclosure of payments by agriculture concessionaires. The 2nd report LEITI report is both an affirmation and a testament to the commitment expressed by the President; it does not only build on the 1st LEITI Report, it also enhances the reliability of the data and expands the sectors covered”.

The first Liberia EITI report covering the period 2007- 2008 was published in February 2009. An independent investigation commissioned by Liberia EITI to resolve discrepancies found in the first report is currently being finalised. The results will be made public in the beginning of March 2010. The first report did not cover the agriculture sector.

 

Notes to Editors

  1. Media enquiries, requests for interviews, can be addressed to Communications Manager Anders Tunold Kråkenes at the EITI International Secretariat, +47 4666 2888 akrakenes@eiti.org.
  2. Both this new Liberia EITI Report and the first report can be found on the website of Liberia EITI at http://www.leiti.org.lr.
  3. Dr Peter Eigen is the Chair of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the international initiative for improving transparency in oil, gas and mining industries. He was also the founder of Berlin-based Transparency International, a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing corruption.
  4. The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organisations. All these constituencies are represented on the Board, which is chaired by Peter Eigen. The EITI Secretariat is hosted by the Norwegian Government in Oslo and was formally opened on 26 September 2007.
  5. 3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. With good governance the exploitation of these resources can generate large revenues to foster growth and reduce poverty. However when governance is weak, it may result in poverty, corruption, and conflict. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. The EITI sets a global standard for companies to publish what they pay and for governments to disclose what they receive.
  6. The 32 countries that are underway in implementing the EITI are: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Republic of the Congo, São Tomé e Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Yemen and Zambia.
  7. 25 September last year, the G-20 leaders expressed their support of the EITI in their statement from the summit in Pittsburgh. The G-20 leaders stated that disclosure of payments and revenues through the EITI strengthens support for the most vulnerable and to contributes to reducing poverty.
  8. This press release and other EITI publications are available on the EITI website at www.eiti.org. If you would like EITI Newsletters and other important EITI updates to be sent to you automatically by email, you can subscribe to this service on the website.
  9. Non-media enquiries can be addressed to the EITI International Secretariat on +47 22242105 or by e-mail to secretariat@eiti.org.