Jan 31, 2014, 9:55 AM
Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) early last month, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), in partnership with the Guaranty Trust Bank, yesterday launched a new revenue collection scheme for taxpayers.
The move, seen as a boost to the revenue collection activity of the GRA, will enable tax payers to pay their taxes and duties payable to GRA at any of the GTB’s 13 branches in the Greater Banjul Area.
As from 3rd May 2011, taxpayers will be able to pay their taxes and duties at GTB’s branches through a GRA dedicated Teller Point manned by a GRA revenue collection process trained cashier.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, the Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority, Bakary Sanyang, said launching of the scheme could not have come at a better time than now, adding that this will make the authority more responsive to the diverse needs of their growing customers.
According to him, the authority’s vision is to become a highly efficient revenue administration that enhances national growth and development through promoting equity, transparency, integrity and professionalism in the interest of all the stakeholders.
“The authority has been tasked, among others, as part of its mission to promptly assess, collect and account for all revenues due to government in a fair and transparent manner; to provide quality customer service and promote voluntary compliance; to enhance revenue through the use of an efficient and effective IT system to simplify and standardize procedures and legislation without increasing the compliance burden,” he said.
He noted that faced with the challenge of improving its collection mechanism and increasing compliance among taxpayers, the GRA with the continued support of Government embarks on initiatives that will make the organization more relevant and credible.
He revealed that there are plans to expand the service to the provinces, and the further involvement of other banks in the future. This, he added, is part of the government’s reforms of the GRA.
Lekan Sanusi, Managing Director of GTBank, in his speech, underscored the importance of the scheme, noting that it aims to make the work easier.
He underscored his bank’s resolve to honor the conditions of the agreement, adding that GTBank will never disappoint the government of The Gambia neither the GRA as an institution.
“We are ready to deliver what is expected of us,” he declared.
MD Sanusi revealed that GTBank has 13 branches within the Greater Banjul and that, in each of these outlets, there would be specific cashiers responsible to collect taxes as agreed in the MOU.
Noting that there must be challenges in any new thing, Sanusi stated that the agreement requires the cooperation of both the Gambia Revenue Authority and GTBank.
“But we need to cope with the challenges and improve our collection mechanisms and compliance among our esteemed taxpayers with the continued support of the GRA,” he stated.
Also present at the ceremony were representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and GRA board chairman Geoffrey Renner.