newly established, Network of Financial and Tax Reporters Gambia Chapter
(NFTR), was over the weekend official launched at a ceremony held at the
National Nutrition conference hall (NaNa) along Bertil Harding Highway.
The launching ceremony was presided by Ousman Bah, Head of Corporate and Public Affair at The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on behalf of the Commissioner General of GRA. The colorful ceremony was also graced by Mr. Alhagie Jeng, Finance Manager/Officer In-Charge of Gambia Bankers Association, Mr. Lamin Cham representing The Gambia Press Union, senior government officials, journalists among others.
The President of NFTR, Abdoulie Nyockeh, in his welcoming remarks spoke at length on the significance of the formation of the network, while expressing his appreciation with the high turnout of the participants. This, he said, clearly manifest their commitment towards achieving the objectives of the association.
The network, he added, will be one of the most “vibrant network” in the country as far awareness creation on tax payment is concerned. “The primary objectives of the network among others are to improve voluntary tax compliance, through using various medium as a tool for sensitization.”
The NFTR President added that: “The network also desired to serve as a watch-door in order to ensure that there is a fair play on tax payment between the government, private sector and the business community.
The vision of the Network, Nyockeh went on, is to report on finance and taxation in the country with a view to create awareness and ensure compliance and efficient tax administration in The Gambia. “We will also create strong collaboration between the authority and the network in order to compliment their effort on sensitization, supporting domestic resource mobilization among others area.”
The media, he went on, can play an effective and efficient role in educating and sensitizing the general public on the tax laws, and the needs for early payment of taxes with a view to enable the government implement its development aspiration, hence there is the needs for close collaboration between the tax Authority and the media.
“The formation of the network will also help Gambian journalists to familiarize themselves with the activities of GRA and its mandate to the general public. Journalists will also be equip with the necessary skills and knowledge on reporting adequately on business, finance and tax news and their linkages to better structural transformations of the Gambian economy.”
He said: “We will be working closely with GRA by providing them with the necessary information that will be of paramount and can also help them in their efforts to identify small medium Enterprise (SMEs) and others in the informal economy and make them become tax compliant.”
Nyockeh urged the GRA to provide capacity building for its members in order to enable them perform their duties effectively, adding that without the necessary training for journalist it would be difficult for them to disseminate the information to the taxpayers effectively.
He called on the commercial Banks and micro finance institution to partner with the network which is here to promote voluntary tax compliant.
He finally hailed the GRA boss, Yankuba Darboe, for his unflinching support to the network, while assuring him of the network support to towards achieving its objectives.
Momodou Jallow, Principal Producer at The Gambia Radio and Television Services said: “Media play an importance role as far as tax compliance is concerned. Therefore, the formation of the network is timely and at the right direction.”