Information Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe has said that Liberia remains committed to being part of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) process.
“The Government wants to remain part of the EITI process because we are transparent,” Nagbe affirmed.
Speaking Tuesday at special media briefing at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, Nagbe maintained that the government of President George Manneh Weah wants to avail all of its activities so as to always ensure transparency.
Minister Nagbe statement comes amidst recent action by the Board of the EITI to suspend Liberia for not publishing the EITI reports for the fiscal period ending June 2016 within the July 1, 2018 deadline.
The decision by the EITI Board, which was reached on September 4, followed a request by the Government of Liberia to extend the reporting deadline set by the EITI standard.
The board found that the request did not meet the criteria for granting an extension.
“This government took office in 2018 and Gabriel Nyenka (head of LEITI) was appointed in March and he took office in April. Government is continuity, what did not happen in the past will happen now, we are working assiduously to meet the targets,” Nagbe noted.
He is of the opinion that the current leadership at the LEITI cannot be held responsible for a report which dates back to 2016.
“Can you blame someone who took over two months to the deadline for something that had three years to be done?” Nagbe asked, urging those who are criticizing the government over the EITI’s action to suspend Liberia to be fair in their analysis of the situation.
As part of reasons why the EITI said it suspended Liberia, the Board noted that the extension request had not been endorsed by Liberia’s Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), as the group had not been reconstituted since the end of its term in October 2017.
The EITI Board also declined Liberia’s request for an extension of its second validation deadline, noting that the request did not meet the criteria for an extension either.