Mar 18, 2021, 2:44 PM
As the country is set to begin mass vaccination exercise against the deadly Covid-19 virus, officials from the Ministry of Health on Wednesday held a day’s orientation for stakeholders at Action Aid office in Kanifing.
Gambia Revenue Authority was established by an Act of parliament in 2004. The authority is an agent of government of The Gambia under the general supervision of the ministry of finance and economic affairs.
Essa Jallow, Deputy Commission General and head of domestic taxes department described the seminar as very important, saying it will increase awareness of the media fraternity on the mandate of GRA revenue laws and the current GRA cooperative plan for 2020 to 2024.
He added that the media as a fourth estate is an important partner in terms of advocacy and information dissemination and sharing.
"GRA’s mandate is to collect revenue for the state to provide public goods and services such as education and infrastructure", he said.
He added that taxation provides basic contract between the state and citizens, saying the media can provide an important link to inform citizens on their duties and responsibilities to comply and volunteer in their tax obligation under the law.
"Through the media,” Jallow said citizens and tax collectors “can hold government accountable on how funds are spent for national development.”
Lamin Jahateh, programme manager at The Gambia Press Union (GPU) said it is part of GPU’s mandate to professionalise the media by training journalists on the barriers that keep them away from reporting on tax and other important matters.
He said The Gambia is a tax based economy and people need to know why they should pay taxes and the importance of tax payment.
Lucy Faye Jagne, chairperson board of directors at Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) said Gambia’s budget is based on income collected by the GRA.
Yankuba Darboe, Commissioner General Gambia Revenue Authority said this is the first tax education forum dedicated to the media fraternity.
He added that the seminar was supported by UNDP through the ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
He said the objective of the seminar was to share tax collection processes and produce and other related matters with reference to the law.
He said paying tax is everybody’s duty and also self assessment.
The National Coordinating Farmer Organisation of The Gambia (NACOFAG) with funding from International NGOs recently ended a two day capacity building training for rice farmers at Pakalinding Lodge, Lower River Region.
Direct Aid International, a non-political, non-sectarian organization dedicated to bringing a sense of normalcy to international crisis situations in its commitment to provide direct aid to the world’s most isolated from other sources of assistance recently contributed in promoting peace between creditors and their debtors by settling fines amounting to one million one hundred and forty thousand dalasis for twenty-two inmates at Mile II prisons.