Ex-teacher of GRA boss extols his leadership quality

Jan 25, 2022, 10:50 AM

Ernest Aubee, a proud former class teacher of the Commissioner General of The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), Yankuba Darboe, has expressed delight over his ex-student’s laudable leadership qualities.

Mr. Aubee, who taught CG Darboe at the Gambia High School, commended the GRA Board and Management for the unprecedented revenue performance over the years. He made these comments in an exclusive interview with this reporter on Thursday 20 January 2022.

Mr. Aubee, who is the current head of agriculture division at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja said: “I am very impressed with GRA’s revenue track record under the leadership of my former student. “I am proud of him,” he said, as he urged him to continue the “good work”.

Mr. Aubee described CG Darboe as a valuable asset for the country. “We should cherish him and encourage him to continue this laudable and commendable work,” he said.

He said GRA under the leadership of CG Darboe has been exceeding its annual revenue targets over the years. “This is happening thanks to his quality leadership,” he said.

CG Darboe, he added, was a very ambitious and hardworking student. “Therefore, seeing him being successful at GRA, ensuring that they meet their annual revenue target over the years is not a surprise to me,” he added.

The former teacher commended the student (GRA boss) for his foresight in recruiting young graduate personnel who are academically sound to deliver up to expectation in tax administration.  

“I encourage him to continue engaging his staff on capacity building which is key,” he disclosed.

He disclosed that Mr. Darboe during his school time was a very ambitious student.

On the importance of taxes, Mr. Aubee described taxes as very important in any country whether developed or developing country. “It is the life blood for the development of any given country”. So taxes are the engine room for developmental activities  because the taxes collected are used for so many developmental purposes in the  states; from the payment of salaries, construction of road, maritime services,  the provision of health services, education, provision of aviation services and investment in productive sectors like agriculture and environment.. 

“In short, taxes are the life blood of development in any given country and The Gambia is not an exception.” 

Regarding GRA meeting its annual revenue targets over the years, Mr. Aubee said: “I must say that GRA under the able and visionary leadership of Yankuba Darboe, who was my student is doing extremely well”. If you look over the years, GRA has been exceeding its revenue annual target.”

He cited that even during the coronavirus pandemic when the economy was not forthcoming as expected, GRA was able to meet its annual revenue target. “I was so much impressed with that performance in 2020, in particular.”

He added that all these achievements were due to the quality leadership with his professional team of staff and management at the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA).

 Mr. Aubee said that GRA should be a role model to other public institutions to study. He praised GRA’s Darboe as a leader who is not only thinking of Gambia today but the future development of The Gambia.

“The Gambia is a tax based economy and Gambia depends heavily on customs duties and taxes. Therefore people should honour their tax obligation to enable GRA to collect the much needed revenue for the government.” 

According to him, every year the revenue target increases due to the fact that the government has many development services to invest in. He said The Gambia is a tax based economy and the Government needs money to carry out development services like payment of salaries, hospital, education, construction of roads, health care services and security among others

Mr. Aubee lavished praise on the GRA management for investing heavily in staff capacity building on various levels of degrees. He also commended GRA management for provision of brand new scanning at the Banjul International Airport aimed at ensuring effective and efficient services delivery.

Mr. Aubee further hailed GRA management for the good work and encouraged them to continue the accountability and transparency in ensuring that the government has the resources to finance our development endeavour. 

He also thanked the government of The Gambia under the leadership of President Adama Barrow for trusting the Commissioner General to spearhead the collection of revenue for national development. 

Mr. Ernest Aubee is a Gambian citizen born in Banjul and attended Gambia High School. He later went overseas to Sierra Leone, Netherlands, Italy and United Kingdom to pursue under -graduate and post –graduate courses in Agriculture and related fields. Currently Mr. Aubee is the head of Agriculture Division at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja.