Jan 23, 2020, 1:48 PM
The managements of the Brikama Area Council and Kanifing Municipal Council have announced that they have resumed the responsibility of the collection of revenue, following an executive directive dated 8 June 2015.
Henceforth, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) will cease to collect revenue for these councils, barely three months one week after the revenue collection function of the councils was jettisoned and given to GRA.
Whatever triggered the initial action of taking revenue collection from the councils we could not tell, but certainly it was done with good intention because even the route to hell was paved with good intention.
Nonetheless, we are glad that an executive directive has been issued reversing the decision sooner than later, because it has chilling implications on the delivery of services that are supposed to be rendered by the councils.
Apparently, all might not be well with the councils’ revenue collection or rather with their judicious utilisation of these funds, but one thing is certain, it is this revenue that they utilise to fulfill their other obligations such garbage collection.
For instance, since the revenue collection was taken away from the councils almost all the markets within the KMC were full of refuse and garbage that were heaped for disposal, but seemingly no one was there to collect them.
Vendors at the Serekunda Market were complaining bitterly about the stinking odour and foul air pollution being emitted by the heaps of refuse around the market.
It is clear that this hazardous situation was prevailing because the revenue that the councils collect to facilitate refuse collection and disposal was, at the time, under the jurisdiction of an institution whose primary focus is to collect revenue not refuse.
While vendors were paying their dues regularly, no action was being taken to ensure refuse dumped at the market was collected for disposal.
The KMC or the other councils may have been doing all that they should with the revenue collected, but taking it away from them suddenly as we have all seen has not made things any better either.
We are happy and thank God now that revenue collection is restored, we hope refuse collection will also restart in earnest.
It is true that in life what is right is not expedient, and what is expedient is not right; so we are told to always do what is right.
Furthermore, we urge the councils to buckle up and live up to their responsibilities. When judiciously and accountably utilised, the revenue collected by the councils can enhance the implementation and sustainability of projects at the local government areas.
“Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.”
John D. Rockefeller