The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board has suspended Liberia over its failure to publish the EITI report for the fiscal period of June 2016 up to the July 1, 2018 deadline.
An EITI release issued on Monday says the decision followed a request by the Liberian Government to extend the reporting deadline set by the EITI Standard which the Board found that the request did not meet the criteria for granting an extension.
In accordance with the Standard, the EITI Board will lift the suspension once Liberia’s outstanding EITI Report is endorsed by the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and published within six months of the deadline (by 31st December 2018).
The EITI Board noted in its decision to suspend Liberia that the extension request had not been endorsed by Liberia’s MSG, as the group had not been reconstituted since the end of its term in October 2017.
At the same time, the Board is, therefore, calling on the Government of Liberia to reconstitute the MSG and to revitalize the implementation of the EITI, in partnership with industry and civil society organizations.
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 in taking its decision.
The Board noted that reconstituted MSG could take stock of progress, publish the outstanding EITI Report and consider whether to submit a request to delay the commencement of validation.
Liberia was one of the first countries to implement the EITI and the progress it showed over the years was instrumental in the development of the EITI Standard in 2013. In 2016, Liberia demonstrated that it was making meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard in one of the first EITI Validations of its kind in Africa.
Validation is the EITI’s quality-assurance mechanism. Liberia is currently scheduled to undergo its second Validation on 24 November 2018.
However, LEITI Boss Gabriel Nyekan has termed as superlative ignorance and celebrated anti-national posturing as problems confronting public opinions about the institution.
Speaking via mobile phone on a local radio show Monday in Monrovia, Mr. Nyekan blamed the past administration for failing to report in the stipulated period while confirming the readiness of the report even though a request for an extension was declined.