By: Emmett P. Coker
National Road Fund of Liberia
The National Road Fund of Liberia has launched a management and accounting application in Monrovia. Launched on August 16, 2022 the application named ‘Sage 300 ERP’ is aimed at improving and strengthening financial discipline, transparency of financial management systems at the National Road Fund of Liberia. This effort is also intended to keep the National Road Fund on track with other governmental institutions as well as regional and international bodies. According to the National Road Fund, Sage 300ERP is a window-based range or ERP software that is driven by Microsoft SQL. National Road Manager Boniface D. Satu told the gathering at the launch that the new system is an advanced 2022 platform that comprises key financial suites (Modules), including General ledger, bank services, tax services, accounts payable, accounts receivable, Multi Company, inventory management, purchase order, sale order, payroll, and a number of other services and functions. Manager Satu added that the system is a financial management software that is compatible with the systems that are governed by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning especially the Integrated Public Financial Management System (IFMIS). He emphasized the relevance of software as essential because according to him, it will “increase financial reporting and accountability in addition to ensuring proper financial management”. Additionally, the road fund manager believes the software when utilized would in effect reduce the risk associated with the NRF account documents being handled by its accounts division. He said that the system will continue to function regardless of whether or not he is in the employ of the NRF. At the launch which was held at the road fund’s offices in Monrovia the World Bank, represented by its head of Tax Team-John Richardson, commended the parties involved in the development of the software. Richardson committed that the World Bank will continue working with the National Road Fund to improve its financial accounting system and make it more viable for integrity and transparency in Liberia. Prior to the launch of the Sage 300 software, the National Road Fund had been relying only on the Microsoft Excel Worksheets for all of its financial transaction and reporting needs. The National Road Fund was established by an act of national legislature on December 12, 2016, and was enacted and published January 26, 2017. The road fund was established to “ensure that road assets are sustained and that sufficient funds for both periodic and routine maintenance are allocated to for this purpose and to ensure that each of the categories of national, sub-national and feeder roads have a sufficient share of the total budget such that these roads can operate as an integrated network”. Road infrastructure is one of the crucial factors which define the ability of a country economy to achieve economic growth. Road infrastructure is considered to be a key prerequisite of social and economic development of any country. Predominantly, road transport is the most widely used mode of travel across Liberia. The United Nations, World Bank, and with assistances from other friendly nations, as well as development partners have hugely supported Liberia’s road and bridge infrastructures. Given the development partners’ significant investment in roads and bridges, they became particularly worried over periodic road maintenance. As a direct consequence of these back-and-forth interactions with the Liberian government, the National Road Fund of Liberia, also known as the NRF, was conceived throughout the course of these interactions.