The awards night, which was held under the Visionary leadership of the Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe, was designed to honour and recognise the most tax compliant tax payers in our economy.
Addressing the gathering, President Barrow acknowledged with appreciation the efforts of the board and management of GRA in organising the initiatives.
“As a former businessman, I know how difficult it can be for business entities to pay taxes and as such GRA deserved commendation for initiating this laudable scheme in a bid to encourage taxpayers to settle their tax obligation for national development.”
The Gambian leader was quick to thank all taxpayers and non-Gambians especially those in the private sectors for their consistent contribution to national development.
“My government recognises and deeply appreciates the role taxpayers played in providing the much-need revenue to enable government implement its projects and programs.”
Barrow made reference to some of the major road construction development projects that his government is embarking on through domestic revenue mobilization.
“Now Government is avoiding obtaining external loan elsewhere because Gambia is a tax-based economy; therefore, we will use domestic revenue to do our development projects.”
Therefore, this taxpayers’ award, he added, is a very important night, saying 53% of Gambians voted for him in the last election and that “if we don’t pay our tax obligation, I don’t think we can develop the country”.
“We can no longer rely on external aids to form national projects. Therefore this event is very timely and appropriate.”
He assured of his government’s effort in providing political will and policy environment for GRA to collect maximum revenue.
He equally commended GRA Board and Management for the unprecedented revenue performance registered over the years.
Also speaking, Yankuba Darboe, commissioner General of The Gambia Revenue Authority, explained that the day is ideally placed at the beginning of the financial year of the government in order to appreciate distinguished Taxpayers, who are working very hard to liberate the country from external resources dependency.
“Therefore mobilization of domestic resources is crucial for the funding of our own budget, our own priorities to spur our own economic growth and development, CG Darboe stated.
According to him, the growth in the manpower and capacity has translated into the excellent revenue performance that GRA continue to register year after year.
Since GRA started operations in 2006, CG Darboe indicated that the Authority has been able to grow revenue from D2.8Billion within 15 years.
“During this period, average monthly revenue collection grew from D235Million in 2006, to over D1.1billion in 2021,representing more than 35% growth, Similarly, the average year-on –year revenue growth between 2006-2021 stands at 11%, making the Authority one of a few in Africa to have registered this level of consistent revenue performance and growth over time.”
CG Darboe noted that in 2020 and 2021, two financial years that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic , the Authority was able to exceed target, and collected over D11.8Billion in 2020 and over A12.7billion in 2021 despite the numerous challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
He thanked their esteemed and formidable Board of directors under the leadership of Mrs. Lucy FyE-Jagne for providing the much –needed guidance in our reform programs.
“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of the Gambia Revenue Authority, I wish to congratulate in Advance, the taxpayers that will end up winning awards today and wish those that will miss out, the best of luck next year.”
The ceremony, he added, is not about winners and losers, adding that it is about showing appreciation to ‘our esteemed clients- you the taxpayers for your exemplary compliance with your tax obligation.’
“Paying taxes is a legal and civic duty on the citizen, natural or corporate.”
At the end of the event about (30) Companies were awarded certificates in recognition of their tax compliance.