The Governor of the Central River Region has called on local authorities in his region, particularly Janjangbureh Area Council and Kuntaur Area Council, to pay their taxes to The Gambia Revenue Authority on time. This, he noted, would enable the Authority to embark on more socio-economic development for the people in the country.
Alh. Omar Khan was speaking recently in Janjangbureh during a day’s tax seminar with businessmen across the 11 districts of CRR. The forum, according to GRA officials, is meant among other things to strengthen the cordial working relationship between GRA and the business community and also to sensitise them on the importance of paying taxes.
Organised by The Gambia Revenue Authority, the forum also availed the business community the opportunity to table some of the constraints and challenges they encounter with a view to coming out with tangible solutions.
Governor Khan said the business community is the most important as far as revenue and tax collection is concerned, saying that the Government and GRA depend on the business sector through their payment of taxes.
He therefore urged the business community in his region to ensure that they pay their taxes on time.
“I am made to understand that during the last tax award ceremony organised by GRA, CRR was able to win an award, which is of paramount importance. I will continue to engage the business community and the local authorities in my region for them to pay their taxes,” he stated.
Governor Khan made it clear that if people default in paying their taxes on time they can be charged for economic crime.
He thus warned area councils in his region to ensure that whenever they collect tax from employees it is paid directly to the revenue office of GRA in Brikamaba. “You cannot collect money for government and spend it without government’s approval,”he pointed out.
Ousman Bah, Head of Cooperation and Public Affairs at The Gambia Revenue Authority, underscored the significance of the forum. He said payment of taxes are crucial in the sense that most of the development programmes and projects undertaken by government are from tax revenue, which is ploughed back to the community in the form of development projects.
He said The Gambia Revenue Authority is one of the most important national institutions in the crusade to provide development services in this country.
Bah challenged the participants to make best use of the forum and to disseminate the information acquired.
Ebrima Njie, a businessman from Janjangbureh, commended GRA for organising such an important forum, saying it will enhance their understanding of tax issues.
He appealed to the GRA to help them reduce the tax as it is very high and almost all the businessmen in the region are farmers.
by Momodou Jawo in Basse, URR