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Sunday, July 21, 2024

FINANCIAL SCANDAL: LRA FACES ANNUAL LOSSES IN MILLIONS

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Former Auditor General John Morlu has revealed massive revenue losses at Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), which he said is an issue of serious concern.

In one of his regular daily statements, Morlu who is Incoming President Joseph Boakai’s man responsible for tracking and retrieving stolen government monies, said people have brought to light a concerning situation involving substantial annual revenue losses at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).

Morlu indicated that “The country’s wealthiest individuals are found at the LRA.”

Morlu notes that the current Liberian Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah asserts a loss of 300 million, with some arguing that the figure might be closer to US$900 million annually.

The LRA, responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing tax laws in Liberia, is facing allegations of mismanagement and significant revenue losses.

John Morlu while revealing the alleged continued theft at LRA and some people indifferent to his style of combating corruption,  his approach remains unchanged.

Mr, Morlu said real Liberians are poor, suffering, and dying from curable diseases. And everyone in and out of Liberia agrees that massive corruption is the root of the problem, adding that It is a curse to steal from taxpayers.

He states that every Liberian deserves the right to live a great life on this earth. “God did not send Liberians on the earth to live and die poor because of a few people stealing and mismanaging their resources.”

Mr. Morlu called on his critics to join the fight or keep your “Let go slow” advice to yourself.

“This is a Joe Boakai’s fight against corruption, impunity and incompetence, and so only his approach matters. Joe Boakai is 100% resolved in his ‘aggressive’ pursuit of defeating corruption.”

Reflecting on history, Morlu says the reputation of tax collectors dates back to the days of Jesus Christ. Fast forward to America’s inception, and everyone aspired to be a tax collector once tax collection began.

Pre-Alexander Hamilton, the coveted role was that of the postmaster general.

Before the war in Liberia, Morlu indicates that a few aspired to be tax collectors or auditors.

However, our efforts to promote tax collection and audit awareness have elevated these professions, unfortunately, he says in so many instances, not in public esteem but in personal gain; adding that “Presently, Liberia’s wealthiest individuals are found at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), and alarming reports suggest substantial annual revenue losses. Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and the Acting LRA boss assert a $300 million loss, while some argue it might be closer to $900 million.

Disturbingly, though, according to John Morlu, former finance ministers align on Liberia losing vast amounts, with estimations ranging from $2.5 billion to an alarming $4 billion.

The consensus is that the current budget of about $625 million is a gross understatement benefiting a select few, he said in the statement.

Morlu appeals to the LACC Boss, Cllr. Zoe:

John Morlu has recommended to LACC Boss, forcomprehensive Investigation: Scrutinizing every individual at LRA, from janitors to high-ranking officials, including Thomas Doe Nah, who just died.

Morlu says even in death, accountability is imperative. “Conduct illicit wealth and lifestyle investigations akin to practices in Kenya and the USA.”

He wants the LACC to mandate asset declarations for everyone at LRA, government-wide internal and external auditors, individuals at PPCC, procurement directors, Accountants and Comptroller General staff, and all government accountants and finance personnel.

He says despite personal connections, a thorough cleansing of these roles is essential for fighting corruption and expanding domestic resource mobilization.

In echoing the determination of J. Edgar Hoover, Morlu states “we forcefully declare our commitment to fighting corruption. Anticipating criticism, we remain resolute in protecting Joe Boakai’s legacy and securing Liberia’s future as the Final Destination for people of color.

“This fight involves only Liberians, with the unwavering conviction that a Liberia free from corruption is not negotiable, vital for prosperity, even if met with vehement resistance.”

While acknowledging that not everyone may resonate with hiss approach, Morlu points out that “we recognize the diversity of opinions on combating corruption. Approaches vary, and it’s challenging to find two individuals with the exact same perspective. Morlu himself is critical of the APPROACHES of many officials who choose to embrace, love, and protect corruption.”

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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