WCO SG visits Gambia

Mar 2, 2022, 1:49 PM

The secretary general of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), who is based in Belgium, on Tuesday, paid a courtesy call on senior officials of The Gambia government to assess the level of progress under the Customs Administration.

Dr. Kunio Mikuriya’s first point of visit for WCO within West and Central Africa starts from The Gambia.

He visited the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA) and the Office of Vice President of The Gambia.

Yankuba Darboe, the GRA commissioner general, in receiving Dr. Mikuriya expressed total appreciation and honour over the visit of the WCO SG, describing his visit as a proud achievement for not only GRA but the whole Gambia.

He also cited that the visit was meant for the WCO SG to meet the GRA and by extension the state machineries.

“The purpose was to discuss with them issues related to the maintenance of peace and stability as well as partnership and border trade.”

Darboe explained that WCO has 180 members in different countries. He added that the delegates decided to choose The Gambia because of the good performance of the GRA, which has since been actively participating in the WCO.

According to him, the SG decided to visit Gambia to see how they are coping with the pandemic and also assess how they are managing human resources, especially the contribution to national development.  

Dr. Kunio Mikuriya on his part commended the GRA leadership for their commitment and also CG Darboe’s contribution towards WCO programmes and activities. He said that the world views Africa as the future potential item for economic development.

“Our aim is to provide capacity building to enable us to visit other countries. This is why I decided to choose Gambia, it was due to the pandemic that was why I couldn't come to Africa,’’ he explained.

At the Office of Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray welcomed the delegation on behalf of the Gambian leader President Adama Barrow.

 “I want to assure you that you are most welcome to this country.” The changes that are happening economically, politically as well as the infrastructure and other development projects are as a result of efficient utilisation of taxes and collections that have given us resources that are home driven and giving us what we are doing today as a country.

She disclosed that the President is very much appreciative of the contribution of the GRA. “We have seen the changes since he came into office; and the type of infrastructural development without the GRA could not happen.

She also seized the opportunity to thank the GRA leadership and the staff for the unprecedented progress made over the years. “We have seen what GRA is doing and we really appreciate their efforts in contributing immensely towards the development of The Gambia.”

She encouraged the Commissioner General and his team to continue with the hard work and their immense contribution to the development of this country.

She also praised the Commissioner General of GRA for always building the capacity of his staff in order to boost their skills.

The VP further acknowledged the visit of the WCO SG to The Gambia, and also commended the organisation for the numerous support rendered to the Gambian people through capacity building of GRA staff.

She also assured the WCO delegation that Gambia government would give the GRA the opportunity to do their work without any interference.

The minister of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA), Mambury Njie, acknowledged the visit by the WCO SG to The Gambia. He said the visit would greatly help and boost the Gambia Tax Authority and the political leaders to meet with the WCO delegation and discuss important matters that are beneficial to the Gambian economy.

He equally commended the leadership of the GRA for their firm commitment, dedication towards the development of the Gambia.

Dr. Kunio Mikuriya is expected leave The Gambia Wednesday 3 March 2022. The delegation is expected to visit Giboroh Border Post on Wednesday morning before leaving back home.