The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), on Friday presented awards to most tax compliant business companies across the country. The awards were in recognition of their commitment for timely filing of their returns and general tax compliance.
The event was observed at the GRA’s 3rd edition of Taxpayers’ Annual Recognition Awards held at a local hotel in Kololi.
The occasion was graced by the Vice President Ousainou Darboe on behalf of President Adama Barrow and other prominent business executives who were in attendance.
The minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mambury Njie, described the event as very important for his ministry as it is in line with their aim of addressing economic growth and development for our country.
He explained that the event’s main objective was to boost tax compliance and create opportunity for a tax base expansion.
“In so doing, it has become necessary that we set aside a day like this for government to recognise our distinguished taxpayers who have exhibited the highest level of compliance behaviour,” he noted.
The Finance minister revealed that government has also come up with a comprehensive National Development Plan (2018-2021), - “a broad embodiment of our collective wishes and aspiration as a nation to ensure development and social cohesion in all sectors of society.”
“Therefore, the initiative taken by Gambia Revenue Authority to reward and recognise compliant taxpayers receives the full support of my ministry as a strategy to increase the revenue base.”
The minister added that government and the private sector are partners in development; assuring that government will create the necessary policies for an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
According to the Finance minister, the current revenue to GDP ratio of 12.5% as at December 31st 2018 is relatively lower than the 20% average for Sub-Saharan Africa, showing that as a country “we can still increase our taxation capacities through improvement in compliance and efficiency in collection.”
He cited that government is investing in the human resources capacity and information technology for GRA to achieve the key objectives of a high level of tax compliance and tax efficiency in the country.
The Finance minister further said that the government and GRA will continue to provide the services and incentives to facilitate tax compliance at minimal cost.
According to him, government will also continue to create the foras and avenues for meaningful public and private sector engagements as a means of giving the private sector a voice to influence public policy.