GRA’s domestic revenue mobilisation mechanism attracts more int’l recognition  

Sep 6, 2021, 1:57 PM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye; The Point’s Europe Correspondent

In accordance with the several reforms implemented by the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), International Finance Institutions have praised the “responsible method of domestic revenue mobilisation mechanism and robust tax system” spearheaded by the agency under the leadership of Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe.

Verified documents seen by The Point collaborating similar performance as of mid-2021 towards the end of the year also vividly repeated parallel progress following previous findings.  

It concluded that the “competencies of GRA staff in data matching have also assisted in increasing the revenue contribution of existing taxpayers and in registering new taxpayers”…thus generating income in a “fair, humane and transparent manner”.  

Despite the fiscal shortcomings including the vulnerability of the economic effects caused by COVID-19, both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank equally recognised the resolve of the country’s efforts in taxation comprehensibility.

Distinctly, financial institutions also admitted that the “Gambian authorities are adhering to their commitments on the transparency of Covid-19 spending…published the details of all related procurement contracts on websites.”  

Therefore, “technical assistance and other funds provided are now bearing fruits…training and capacity building also resulted in significant increase in revenues as a result of GRA tax system.”   

With the support of the development partners’, financial institutions also recognised that it will continue to prioritise similar efforts including human resources and build staff competencies in numerous taxations.  

Responding to the findings, an official familiar with the Gambian matter, disclosed that following a request by the GRA for support from development partners to build staff capabilities… “Certainly, any bid will be considered in its totality as the Agency will continue to strengthen tax, customs administration, supervision and staff management respectively.”  

The official who commended The Point for a “regular follow-up” added: “I must add that an already seen digital transformation of the revenue administration is attractive...they deserve full support”.   

Separately, it also pledged to consider other request as GRA continues to improve its “other objectives beyond what it is currently doing”.  

Furthermore, it also disclosed that as a result of GRA “competence and in consultation with relevant stakeholders", revenues are also improving. It increased from over 12 percent of GDP in 2018 to over 14 percent of GDP in 2019, partly as a result of the effectiveness of its tax scheme.  

The Gambian government is equally commended for its transition out of “fragility” towards a “positive vision” of viable and inclusive growth following “an autocratic and dictatorial rule of political repression, economic mismanagement under former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh.”