“We have all legal rights to raise and spend money”, clarified the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) C. Mike Doryen.
According to Mr. Doryen, the FDA was given said legitimate authority after the Supreme Court in March of 2017 ruled in its favor in the case, The Workers Union of the FDA versus the FDA where it was given the right to raise and spend money.
Of late there has been concern from the Liberia Revenue Authority of which the FDA has clarified contrary to perception that they are collecting fees and not taxes.
Meanwhile the LRA according to reports is said to be investigating the situation while FDA has maintained that it is collecting legal fees and not taxes.
The FDA boss was responding to question raised by reporters relative to their latest funds FDA collected after the management put in place a new workable and transparent system aimed at generating money for the entity.
Speaking to Reporters Wednesday the FDA head said after realizing the delay in releasing allotments to the FDA by national Government, he as a head of the entity along with his able and crack team saw the need to creatively put in place a transparent and accountable system backed by the legal authority to ensure the smooth running of the entity.
“We have instituted a mobile money system for the collection of non-timber products and it has significantly helped in revenue growth”, Mr. Doryen added.
Displaying the growth rate to reporters the FDA head disclosed that unlike in the past and as a result of the new introduction of the mobile money system in just three months the FDA was able to raise about 20 Million Liberian dollars.
He outlined to media practitioners that in 2014 of January and December a total of 6.7m Liberian dollars was raised while in January and December of 2015 a total of 7.8 million Liberian dollars was also collected.
Moreover, in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively a total of over 15.6 Million Liberian dollars were collected.
He said the reintroduction of the cash management system has helped the entity greatly and has brought about control, reduction of risk as well as the control on how monies are taken and used.
“Let me restate for the records that we collect fees and not taxes and it is a transparent and accountable process”, he noted.
In a bid to show more transparency, Mr. Doryen wants relevant authorities of Government to follow up on their Trent of event as well as activities and operations at MTN mobile money service provider and the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment.
The process he stressed is working well and it is helping the entity in their operational areas as he pledged the FDA’ s commitment in the working harder to promote the PAPD to the core.