MONROVIA-The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the country’s chief tax bureau, has named ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) as Liberia’s largest tax payer for the year 2019-2020.
ArcelorMittal Liberia Holdings Limited and ArcelorMittal Holdings A.G. were awarded the honor biggest tax payer Saturday, December 11, 2021 at the Inter-ministerial Complex, in Monrovia
The occasion marked the Liberia Revenue Authority’s “Tax Payers Appreciation and Awards Dinner under the theme “Moving to Billions, Increasing Tax Compliance for National Transformation”.
This time of the year, the LRA awards taxpayers in various categories for being tax compliant.
AML which started operation in 2004 but commenced actual shipment of ore in 2011, its amended Mineral Development Agreement is before the national legislature for ratification.
When the agreement is ratified, it will meaningfully ramp up production of premium iron ore, generating significant new jobs and wider economic benefits for Liberia. Some legislative sources said they are hopeful that it will be ratified but with some modifications-which were not specified.
ArcelorMittal Liberia won “gold” in the category of “Highest Contributor Overall”, ranking first ahead of Monrovia Breweries and Orange Liberia Incorporated that walked away with bronze and silver honors respectively. Over the past year, the highest tax payer award was won by Orange Liberia, a mobile company operator.
Announcing the winner, Cllr Elizabeth B. Diggs, Associate Legal Council- Assistant Commissioner for Civil Litigation, in the LRA Legal Department said; “it is really a very great honor to be here to be announcing to you the highest contributors overall”.
According to her, ArcelorMittal was awarded the highest tax payer in the Liberia Revenue Authority’s “all tax categories.” This means, that AML exceeded all other tax payers in the country, according to LRA.
“Our taxpayers have made us proud, they have really made the LRA stand out among all government entities and we are very proud of your support,” she announced.
After the announcement, Her Honor, Justice Sie-A-Nyene Gyapay Yuoh presented the certificate and expressed pleasure to be at the event.
She then encouraged all citizens and non-citizens to be tax compliant.
“We have to be compliant and for where I sit as one of those who says what the law is, I will encourage all of us, me included to pay our taxes,” she said.
Mahamar Haidara, the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of ArcelorMittal Liberia received the award on behalf of the company.
According to records, almost US$300 million have been paid in royalties and taxes between 2019 to 2021. Not only that, but also, over US$45M have been paid in county social development funds.
The Government of Liberia and ArcelorMittal in September signed an amendment to the company’s Mineral Development Agreement (‘MDA’) for the expansion of the Company’s mining and logistics operations in Liberia.
It encompasses processing, rail and port facilities – and is expected to be one of the largest mining projects in West Africa at the cost of approximately $0.8 billion, according to the company.
The expansion project AML said will include the construction of a new concentration plant and “substantial expansion of mining operations, with the first concentrate expected in late 2023, ramping up to 15 million tonnes per annum (‘mtpa’)”.
Under the agreement the company will have reservation for expansion for at least up to 30mt, invest for additional rail capacity and provide more than 2000 jobs
As the largest foreign investor in Liberia, ArcelorMittal Liberia has invested over $1.7 billion in the country over the past 15 years.
Commenting on the agreement at the time, President George Manneh Weah was quoted as saying: “We are delighted to have reached this important agreement with ArcelorMittal Liberia, our long-term partner in the development of the mining sector in Liberia. This agreement demonstrates to the world that Liberia welcomes foreign direct investment and is a key emerging destination for capital. It further supports the Government’s ’Pro Poor’ agenda, which is underpinned by the importance of creating jobs to lift Liberian citizens out of poverty. The further investment by ArcelorMittal in Liberia bears testament to the company’s confidence in the future of this country. We are confident that our constructive working relationship will go from strength to strength.”
ArcelorMittal is a multinational steel manufacturing corporation headquartered in Luxembourg City. It was formed in 2006 from the takeover and merger of Arcelor by Indian-owned Mittal Steel.
It is the second largest steel producer in the world, with an annual crude steel production of 78.5 million metric tonnes as of 2018. It is ranked 120th in the 2019 Fortune Global 500 ranking of the world’s largest corporations.