NRF Boss Mr. Boniface D. Satu NRF Boss Mr. Boniface D. Satu

National Road Fund Boss speaks out, …sets record straight

The National Road Fund of Liberia (NRF), through its Executive Director, Mr. Boniface D. Satu, has said the General Auditing Commission, (GAC) issued an Unqualified Opinion with emphasis of matter relating to receivables due from petroleum importers which cannot constitute to any amount of fraud, waste and abuse at the entity.

“Per Certified Public Accounting Standards, an unqualified opinion is an audit report that has been issued with no reservations regarding the state of an audited client's financial statements and that the auditor followed a standard opinion format to state that the financial statements are a fair representation of the financial results and condition of a client, in accordance with the applicable accounting framework.”

In a press release issued in Monrovia recently, the NRF Boss comments were in response to what the entity described as a misleading and unprofessional story published by the Frontpage Africa in its May 17, 2022 Edition, Banner Story, “Several Millions Diverted at National Road Fund”.

He pointed out that the financial or audit report requires empirical interpretation and comprehension and as such, it is prudent for the writer to widen his scope of understanding the content of the report by reaching out to the GAC for authoritative interpretation. The release mentioned that the GAC’s Opinion is a legacy issue prior to the operationalization of the National Road Fund Office in Liberia on May 1, 2018.

The GAC in it audit report noted that millions of dollars of fuel levies paid by motorists for the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads in Liberia to importers, are not being remitted to the Road Fund account as required by the NRF Act creating the National Road Fund. All expenditure has been fully accounted for and, The GAC further highlighted in its audited report, constant violations of the Act that created the National Road Fund.

The Liberia Revenue Authority(LRA) collected US$53,018,871.54 covering the period July 1 2018 through June 30, 2020, and deposited the money in the Government of Liberia Consolidated Fund Account instead of the National Road Fund Escrow Account as required by the Road Fund Act.

The Consolidated Fund Account is the Government general revenue account, that is controlled by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP). Out of the US53,018,871.54 collected, the amount of US$28,152,231 was remitted to the NRF Escrow account, thereby leaving an unremitted amount of US$24,866,637.54.

In the fiscal year 2019/2020, the GAC observed that the MFDP withheld the total amount of US$7,000,000.00 from the petroleum levy fees collection as National Road Fund support to the National Budget, as a result of consultative agreements between our international partners, including the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, and also because of economic constraints due to the Corvid 19 Epidemic. The Management of the National Road Fund indicated to the GAC that the amount was requested by the MFDP to assist the Government meet its payroll obligations.

The report says the program objectives of the National Road Fund will not be met when funds intended for road works, are used for purposes not intended. In a letter addressed to the National Road Fund of Liberia written by the Auditor-General of Liberia, expressed an unqualified report, in which he mentioned that financial statements were fairly presented in material aspects, statements of receipts and payments as at June 30, 2020.

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