By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh
Photo: Yankuba Darboe, GRA Commissioner General
The Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority, Yankuba Darboe, on Tuesday, 14 December, 2021 told the media that GRA scored about 95% of their revenue target base.
Speaking at the Senegambia Hotel to journalists, Darboe also said GRA is planning to reform and modernise its system. The discussion was centred on the successes of GRA and their core mandate, and how they also contribute to national development in the country.
Mr. Darboe said GRA’s core mandate is revenue collection. Therefore, whatever they do in terms of performance, if they are not excelling in the revenue collection, it means they will have an issue. This is why they prioritise that particular area which makes them score almost 95% of their revenue target for 2021.
“Notwithstanding, it has been clear that we had a lot of challenges during the high striking covid period as lot of areas where we have high generation of revenues were not forthcoming, which include the VAT of hotel industry, the corporate tax, the PAYE and also the related hotel areas such as restaurants, private and guests’ residence. Despite these challenges, we were able to increase the efficiencies within the institution and equally broadened the tax base which were not covered before,” he said.
C.G Darboe said the government has a budget for the country and before the budget is pronounced, GRA and the Ministry of Finance together with their development partners agree to a particular amount that will be the target for GRA for a year. He said the component of GRA is part of the overall government budget.
In rating the highest taxpayers in the country, Mr. Darboe said they have already screened and made their selection of 1 to 50, adding it will be revealed in either a lunch or dinner program over who scored the highest depending on the organisation. This is aimed at motivating the taxpayers as they are partners in national development.
In terms of digitalization, Darboe affirmed that GRA is moving from using the old-fashioned technology called the ASYCUDSA++ to a modernised services system which is the ASYCUDA World System for revenue mobilisation and efficiency delivery of services.
He highlighted that most Gambians do not differentiate between the work of GRA tax collection and municipality tax collection base, saying they will create an enabling environment to educate and enlighten people on the differences as per how they function adding they will radio and TV stations to accomplish this.