A segment of participants pose for the press at the close of the three day event in Buchanan
A segment of participants pose for the press at the close of the three day event in Buchanan

AS LEITI DECENTRALIZES ENGAGEMENTS, COUNTY BASED CSOs CALL FOR 40 PERCENT EXTRACTIVE REVENUE UTILIZATION ON FEEDER ROADS DEVELOPMENT

The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has ended the training of vetted County-based Civil Society Organizations in Liberia with a call for National Government to set aside forty percent of extractive revenue for feeder roads development.

CSOs from Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, RiverGee, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties made the call recently in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County at the closed of a three day event for southeastern Liberia. The call was contained in a joint resolution signed by the CSOs attending and participating in the training exercises.

The CSOs believe the annual exercise will help mitigate the problems citizens face with bad roads across Liberia especially the South east. They averred that this singular action by the Government would restore confidence in the government’s financial expenditure in the absence of a proper mechanism to track the full utilization of extractive revenues. Liberia currently runs a consolidated account system where all revenues generated empties thus making it extremely difficult to track the impact of extractive revenues.

The training in Zwedru brought together 48 CSO actors from Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, RiverGee, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties-all other counties are from the southeast of Liberia except Nimba which is located in northern Liberia and was held from 11-15 March, 2022.

The training aimed to acquaint county-based CSOs with EITI Reporting and Monitoring as well empower them with these tools and data to inspire change and reforms in their respective constituencies.

Phase one of the activity was held in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County from16-19 February 2022 with 108 CSO actors drawn from nine counties-Bong, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Lofa, Margibi and RiverCess Counties following an earlier assessment.

Addressing participants at the start of the Buchanan training via zoom, Michael Uzoigwe, Country Manager of EITI Anglophone Africa extolled CSOs for their participation noting that their role is crucial to the overarching function of the EITI, stating that there can be no EITI without the role of the civil society.

Earlier, Head of Secretariat, Jeffrey N. Yates disclosed that the LEITI will partner with the local CSOs to enhance its works across the country through their monitoring and use of EITI tools and data. He admonished them to use the LEITI data and other tools to push for the necessary policy reforms for the good of the Liberian people. He said with support from the African Development Bank, CSOs undergoing the training will be able to access small grants to carry out their respective workplan but only through a competitive bidding process.

CSOs expressed willingness in the partnership, pledging to expand the works of the LEITI in their respective communities. Their will was unanimously expressed through a joint resolution signed and presented to the Secretariat at the end of the training.

At both trainings, CSOs were drilled on the usage of EITI reports, monitoring and tracking of Social Development Funds, the LEITI Act, EITI Civil Society Protocol, the role of civil society in the EITI process, The Role and Functions of the MSG, among others.

Funding for this activity was provided by the African Development Bank through the Project Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.