Tuesday, March 28

Gov’t says Gai Construction pays all its taxes for Banjul Project

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The Minister of Works Ebrima Sillah has yesterday confirmed to journalists that Haddim Gai of Gai Construction has paid all his taxes for the Banjul Roads Rehabilitation Project.

According to a National Audit Office report, the contractor is exempted from paying taxes as per the addendum to the contract.

But speaking to journalists yesterday, Minister Sillah said there was another addendum on the contract that removed the tax exemption.

Minister Sillah said the government does provide a certain tax exemption on projects funded by the state or donor organisations.

“For example, if we consider that bringing in gravel or basalt over from the neighbouring countries into the Gambia is going to cost us more by taxes to do the construction work – my ministry and the ministry of finance provide tax exemptions.

There are also duty waivers that we also give that are related to the construction works so that we reduce the cost burden of the construction on the government,” Minister Sillah said.

He said though duties are waived but a number of taxes are waived. “In fact, since 2019 for this Banjul Project there are proofs here from the Gambia Revenue Authority that Gai Construction has been paying taxes from 2019.

These are the clear tax clearance certificates given to the contractor by the GRA. So, the taxes were paid and tax clearances were given. Yes, we did waive duty taxes for Mr Gai but he is not the only contractor who benefitted from that,” Sillah said.

Further confirming this to journalists yesterday, the Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority, Yankuba Darboe said: “Mr Gai regularly honours his tax obligations and submits his company’s audited accounts on time. As far as we are concerned the man is always filling his taxes and based on what he is filing is where we tax him and there are facts to prove that. Anybody being a project or not, if you have an economic activity in this country and you are getting money you will pay taxes and Gai Construction is also paying taxes.”