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Illicit acts undermine development …..Investigation reveals

Jacob N.B.Parley
Liberia Electricity Corporation
Liberia Electricity Corporation


MONROVIA, LIBERIA-A recent investigation by the Liberia Broadcasting System shows that dishonest practices, both in the private and public sectors of the country are posing serious threats to the advancement of the Liberian society.


These dishonest acts include tax evasion, illegal connections to the lines of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, despite repeated warnings by government and other key stakeholders who are focused on ensuring transparency and accountability in society.


These acts of illicit financial flows take different shapes, including, tax evasion, understating the value or worth of a property and providing the wrong information to tax-collection entities, etc.


For instance, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), recently called on the public, including the media to help expose those who are involved in illegal connections to the system’s lines. The LEC, through its Chief Executive Officer, John Ashely, said illegal connections and the avoidance of LEC meters are affecting the requisite revenue needed by the Liberian government to help boost the country’s economy.


Mr. Ashely, speaking to Liberia Broadcasting System recently described illegal connections to LEC lines as fraudulent and borders on lack for love for one’s country.


It has been established that millions of dollars that could be used to transform Liberia could keep hanging in the balance, if these practices are not brought to a halt.


It can be recalled that Liberian President, George Weah has repeatedly said his administration will not condone acts that are harmful to the progress of Liberia, including corruption in any form.
President Weah has vowed to deal with the issue of corruption without fear or favor.


Mr. Ashely also spoke about non-payment of bills, power theft, among others, as other vices that are undermining the operations of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, when it comes to generating the needed revenue for Liberia in support of government’s Pro-poor Development Agenda.


Illicit Financial Flows are so harmful to the growth of nay meaningful nation to the extent that efforts are now being collaborated to handle the matter.

A number of institutions have been making efforts to provide the requisite skills and knowledge for the media to be part of the process of exposing and discouraging illicit financial flows.


For instance, the Thomas Reuters Foundation, at the fall of 2017 trained more than ten journalists in Liberia to sharpen their skills on reporting on these financial issues, mainly investigation on illicit financial flows, including tax avoidance.

 


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