Ganta, Nimba County, Liberia – May 28, 2024 – The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Monday (May 27) commenced a weeklong intensive training program for 30 frontline customs officers from 11 Customs Business Offices (CBOs) across the country. The training is being held in Ganta, Nimba County, and focuses on enhancing the skills and knowledge of the officers in modern customs administration as part of efforts to boost revenue growth.

According to Assistant Customs Commissioner for Ports Operations, Edwin F. Kendema, the training encompasses critical areas such as border management, social protection, facilitation of legitimate international trade, and the collection of customs duties and related fees. This initiative is part of the LRA’s broader competency development strategy aimed at bolstering the capabilities of its personnel.

“The training is designed to provide our officers with the latest practices adopted by Customs administrations regarding the Harmonized System (HS) Code or Customs Tariff Classification, Valuation, Assessment, and Customs Clearing Procedures at land borders, as well as air and seaports,” stated LRA Assistant Commissioner for Technical Operations, Attorney William L. Buku. He emphasized the important role Customs plays in the trade supply chain and the need for constant capacity building.

Participants are drawn from various CBOs, including Mendicorma, Yealla, Jorwah, Ganta, Yekepa, Loguatuo, Buchanan, RIA, LPRC, and the Freeport of Monrovia.

During the opening ceremony, Assistant Customs Commissioner for Ports Operations, Edwin F. Kendema, emphasized the importance of the training in achieving the LRA’s ambitious goal of reaching the billion-dollar revenue collection mark for the current fiscal year. He said Commissioner General James Dorbor Jallah has made known Team LRA’s intension to reach the billion-dollar revenue collection mark during the current fiscal year, and training frontline Customs officers (those assigned at border and entry points) is a giant step in such direction.

“The desire to increase revenue collection is intended to expand the national government’s fiscal spending space to execute more development programs for the people of Liberia,” Kendema highlighted.

He further noted that the Customs Department, as a core revenue collection unit within the LRA, has initiated a series of capacity enhancement activities, starting with the Ganta In-Service Training. “This training will equip our staff with the necessary tools and skill sets to meet the challenge of collecting lawful revenue and ensuring social protection for the people of Liberia,” he added.

Senior and middle-level experts from Customs and the Human Resources Departmentn of the LRA are facilitating the training. The curriculum includes modules on Customs Risk Management, Introduction to the Customs Security Program, and staff career planning and competency development. “We hope that all participants will engage fully in the teaching sessions and actively participate in all discussions and group activities,” Kendema said.

The comprehensive training underscores the LRA’s commitment to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of its customs operations, ultimately contributing to the nation’s economic growth and development.