UNCTAD Certificates LRA Staff As Int’l Trade Facilitation Trainer

UNCTAD Certificates LRA Staff As Int’l Trade Facilitation Trainer

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has awarded a professional certificate to Zechariah Geedehgar Munford of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) as an International Trade Facilitator Trainer.

Mr. Munford, a Senior Officer for Valuation in the LRA Customs Department, received the global recognition following the completion of a two-year intensive international trade facilitation training program.

Before being certificated, Mr. Munford completed the five modules of the empowerment program and obtained satisfactory marks during the evaluations.

“With the level of training acquired from the [program], I am well placed to make vital contributions to quality trade reform initiatives in Liberia,” Mr. Munford said. He expressed gratitude to the UNCTAD for the training opportunity and the professional recognition as a certified trainer. This, he said, ‘will enhance his ability to produce quality results in trade facilitation training’.

The training initiated by the UNCTAD began in 2016 because of Liberia’s membership accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The program was intended to strengthen members of the Liberia National Trade Facilitation Committee (LNTFC) to institute vital trade reforms including the provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Meanwhile, LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba has congratulated Mr. Munford for the achievement, describing it as ‘a pride for the LRA and Liberia as a country’. The CG urged Munford to use the skills to positively impact the collection of lawful revenues to meeting the country’s domestic resource mobilization agenda.

In a related development, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) says it will determinedly enforce the collection of lawful revenues, while working with all stakeholders, especially the business community, to enhance compliance and boost domestic resource mobilization.

The Authority wants businesses in the country to operate in the confines of the law and pay their taxes in line with the Liberia Revenue Code to foster national development.  The call was made Friday (March 2, 2018) when the Domestic Tax Department held a one-day interactive discussion with several business stakeholders at the LRA Headquarters in Paynesville.

The discussions focused on issues hindering the accurate filling of tax records including timely payment of taxes by taxpayers meanly in the Medium and Large Tax sectors. Addressing the forum, Mr. Eddie H. Howe, LRA Large Tax Manager for Analysis, Assessment and Accounting, disclosed that the initiative was further intended to identify issues affecting the taxpayers and the LRA respectively in the payment and collection of lawful revenue.

The discussion also considered the formulation of plans and strategies to curtail identified challenges. Mr. Howe encouraged the business stakeholders to always consider early filling of tax records and payment in order to avoid general payment risk, noting that the LRA will not hesitate to punish taxpayers who under-declare their tax obligations.

Some of the business stakeholders urged the LRA to ensure a proper verification of taxpayers’ records and profile of businesses to avoid duplication and wrong identification. This, they said, would enhance tax compliance and boost revenue collection.

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