By Kebba AF Touray
The board of directors of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), and its top management, on Saturday November 3rd, concluded a three day familiarization tour of their regional tax offices in CRR South and URR respectively.
The delegation was headed by the Board Chairperson of the GRA Mamour Jagne, together with the Commissioner General and the senior management of GRA, as well as representative from the Ministry of Finance, Deputy Permanent Secretary, and a representative from the Ministry of Trade.
The purpose of the tour was to accord the GRA board of directors and top management, the opportunity to meet and see the regional tax offices and staff, and share with them issues and challenges affecting their operations, and carve a way forward to address them.
Among the purpose of the visit, was to get first-hand information regarding their working conditions and other burning issues hampering the maximization of revenue collection.
In his welcome remarks at a meeting held at the Brikama Ba Tax Office, Kabiro Barrow the Tax Manager at the GRA, dilated on the importance of the visit; that the visit was long overdue, and will serve as motivation and encouragement to GRA staff on the ground. He said the regional tax office staff will take the opportunity to outline their constraints and challenges to the top management of the Revenue Authority. He highlighted some of their concerns but was quick to explain the cordial relationship between their office and the security task forces within the region. He thanked the board of directors and top management for the bold initiatives.
On his part, Deputy Commissioner General and head of domestic tax Essa Jallow, applauded them for their team work and cooperation with the security forces in the region. He reminded the regional tax office staff to be conscious of their roles and responsibilities while urging them to respect each other’s position.
Also speaking was the Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe who expressed total appreciation with the level of cooperation between the regional tax office staff and the security forces in the region. He thanked the regional tax office staff for making significant progress in terms of revenue collection but reminded them that the role of the security is of paramount importance in collection of tax; that there will be no effective revenue collection without the security’s participation. He advised them to keep up the momentum for the sake of the national interest and adopt the culture of respecting hierarchy and maintaining discipline.
The Chairman GRA board of directors Mamour Jagne, spoke about the need for more female employment in GRA. He call for the need to involve the community in GRA activities; that GRA should not be seen as a hostile Authority that comes to collect monies from the community alone.
The delegation visited the Bansang and Basse tax offices, to interact with staff, and hear the many issues raised that affect their work. The board of directors and senior management assured that the issues raised by staff, will be addressed in due course.