Liberia Hopes LEITI Suspension Will Be Lifted
The Director General of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (LEITI), Hon. Gabriel Nyenkan has clarifies erroneous reports circulating over Liberia’s suspension from the Germany based parent body, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives, (EITI).
He added that that the action to suspend Liberia until the report for 2016 is published was taken on September 4, 2016 and he took over as head of LEITI in March 2018, which clearly shows that failure to publish the report for which Liberia was suspended should be shifted to the past government of ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as we took over in 2018.“If Liberia’s suspension was not going to be lifted, then the international body would not have invited me to their headquarters in Germany for a meeting, and they would not have assured me that once the process of publishing the report is completed, the suspension will be lifted,” he said.
Hon. Nyenkan noted that the process involves President George Manneh Weah appointing government’s members of the MSG, which is the country’s LEITI decision making body that will comprise of stakeholders, government appointees and civil society members. “Due to the President’s busy schedule he has only appointed 8 including the Justice Minister who was appointed and confirmed late,” he said.
He defended his record by saying that before their administration assumed office, Liberia accrued US$24 million from the extractive industries, but now they have over a US$100 million which is a great achievement, adding that let Liberians know about what they are talking about.
“Let us know that the last time that Liberia had a functioning MSG was in 2017, and as long as Liberia lacked a functioning MSG we lack a report, the 4-page rep[ort that I prepared this year was not accepted because Liberia lacks the MSG board approved by the EITI”, he said.
According to Hon. Nyenkan, EITI is so transparent that even the preparation of the report and its publishing has a transparency process monitored by a British based Independent Administrator (IA), who make sure that out of the 15 MSG members 7 should be from government, 16 from stakeholders and 4 from civil society in accordance with Liberia’s public management laws and PPCC laws.
“It is an electronic process and the first draft of the report goes to the IA in the UK who in turn refers the same to the MSG members to ensure consistency, with MSG standards before it is endorsed for publication. The EITI standards require that the report should be written within the country, but with an international outsource that includes the UK based IA,” he said.
He said some Liberians, mostly members of the past administration are jubilating over Liberia’s suspension on Facebook, when in fact the action was taken on September 4 and we received the communication this week Monday.
“The EITI clearly said Liberia was suspended not because Liberia did not write the report but because LEITI did not publish the report in 2016,” Hon. Nyenkan said, in an effort to set the record straight.