US$4.5 Million ‘Missing’ From National Road Fund Account

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Monrovia, Liberia: Donors and International organizations are currently raising question about a US$4 million discrepancy in the accounts of the National Road Fund.

The European Union, German Cooperation, World Bank, African Development Bank, the Millenium Challenge Corporation and the Swedish Embassy said, out of the US$13.2 million collected by the Liberia Revenue Authority from January 2019, only US$8.2 million has been transferred into the Road Fund Account, leaving a difference of US$4 million unaccounted for.

According to reports, transfer of levies collected for the Road Fund are being delayed by two to three months, something donors say could make the government to continue to use the money for different purposes.

Donors further said that continuous delay to transfer ‘fuel levy’ funds into the NRF account could make it impossible for donors to match payments, while also pointing out the delay by fuel importers to to transfer around US$20 million in levy collected from customers.

Established in 2016 by an act of the Liberian Legislature, the National Road Fund is an account set up primarily for the financing of road maintenance and rehabilitation. The NRF include appropriations by the Government of Liberia, grants, and loans by international partners; and road users charges through levies on fuel and other sources.

Liberia risks losing US$15 million MCC Liberia Compact matching funds if the current lapses shown in Road Fund collection are not addressed. Other international partners may also pull out of whatever commitment they have to the fund if certain issues are also not properly addressed.

In the MCC Compact agreement, matching funds will remain in the U.S. Treasury if Liberia fails to come out with its share.

Requisite Government authorities could not be reached for comments.

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