The function of Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) is to promote transparency over revenues generated from the extractive industry sectors. However, LEITI Secretariat also deems it necessary to include the Forestry Sector as well in it oversight responsibility of reconciling government revenues been generated from these sectors. The latter including other activities made Liberia to win in 2009 the “EITI Implementing Country Award” announced for the first time by the EITI in Doha, Qatar during the 4th EITI Conference. The Chairman of the EITI international Board, Peter Eigen presented the Award to Liberia first female president, Madam Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf. In his presentation remarks, Chairman Eigen lauded the pace-setting achievements of Liberia in EITI implementation, citing the inclusion of forestry in its program, and the remarkable engagement of all LEITI stakeholders, including the exemplary political will of the Liberian Government.
Since LEITI was established in the year 2009 by the Liberian Government in collaboration with her partners, it seems that activities of artisanal and small scale miners have not been directly captured in LEITI’s reconciliatory process of revenues generated from the extractive industry sector; thus, making the work of the autonomous public entity loaded with unnecessary discrepancies. Figures representing artisanal and small scale miner activities in LEITI’s report are often obtained from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. For examples, in LEITI 4th and 5th Reports of fiscal years 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, the entire mining sector generated US$44, 223,679.12 and US$56,961,468 respectively. According to these reports, artisanal and small scale miners contributed the total of US$416,057.30 and US$756,950.
To close the gap and balance the work of LEITI in the country, LEITI in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy conducted workshops in Gbarnga, Bong County and Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. The events brought together artisanal and small scale miners, mining agents and other stakeholders to find an amicable solution to the pitfall in LEITI reports. Delegates from ten of Liberia 15 political sub-divisions met in Gbarnga on April 22, 2015, while the remaining five counties’ delegates met in Zwedru on the 24th of April 2015. In his power point presentation, the head of LEITI Secretariat, Mr. Konah D. Karmo, stressed the importance of artisanal and small scale miners activities in the LEITI report. He encouraged the miners to always do more copies of any money pay, henceforth, to the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy or the Ministry of Finance and Development planning. He cautioned them to file each of the payment copies with LEITI focused person in each county.
The purpose of the workshops was gained. The artisanal and small scale miners embraced the idea and thanked the LEITI Secretariat for her farsightedness by recognizing them in the country. They promised to uphold the reporting standards that they have all agreed on at the county level to complete the LEITI reporting process for the benefit of Liberia and its people. As the workshops are over, everyone anticipates LEITI next report to be fully complete.