By: Kebba AF Touray
Photo: Members of the high table
The Network of Finance and Tax Reporters’ Association (NFTR) has on Wednesday held an information sharing forum for media practitioners in The Gambia.
The event was aimed at exposing journalists to the relevant and requisite reporting skills on tax obligation, the importance of tax compliance, as well as ensuring transparency and accountability in the administration of public funds.
Abdoulie Nyockeh, President of NFTR, said their network seeks to work with partners such as The Gambia Financial Intelligence Unit, and African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), so as to provide training programs for the media practitioners. This, he said, would pave way for them to report accurately on monetary affairs.
Nyockeh disclosed that the training will go a long way in helping the media to know how COVID-19 affected businesses, economy and revenue mobilization in this country.
He said 2020 has been a very devastating year for all, particularly the business industry, which is caused by the closure of businesses amid lockdown for the past eight to night months. Thus, causing a negative impact to our economy, he said.
“The primary objective of the NFTR Gambia Chapter is to serve as a watchdog to ensure that there is fair play on tax payment between the business community and the Tax Authority. It also aims to educate and sensitize the general public on the importance of tax payment to government and the devastating effect of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing in our sub-region,” he said.
The network’s president said they are committed to ensuring the general public is aware about money laundering and terrorist financing and the dangers they pose to society. He said they believe the media has an important role to play in helping to protect the country’s financial system and economy from money laundering and terrorist financing.
Nyockeh explained that NFTR was formulated to fulfilling the recommendation made at the ATAF Media training program held in Rwanda last year.
The move was aimed at identifying ways through which Tax Authorities can work with the media to ensure citizens become more active in terms of holding governments accountable in the utilization of state funds.
Photo: A cross sectioned of Journalists at the event
Mr. Ebrima E. Gaye, representative of the TAKAFUL Gambia Limited, hailed the network members for the foresight and challenged them to execute their responsibilities to the best interest of the citizenry.
Mr. Alieu Secka, Chief Executive Officer of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said financial reporting is essential in ensuring that the citizenry understand the impact tax payment has on their daily lives, whether at macro or minor level.