By Isatou Jallow
Students from the School of Journalism, and Digital Media of the University of The Gambia on Wednesday 2nd November 2022 benefited from a day-long Tax Seminar organised by the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) held at the facility of the law conference hall. The objective was to expose the students to adequate knowledge of various tax systems administered by GRA.
Delivering his keynote address on behalf of the Commissioner General, Ernest Mendy Director of Human Resources said the seminar is vital for every citizen to understand particularly the students who are either taxpayers already or future taxpayers.
“It may interest you to know that the holding of seminars to engage stakeholders is derived from Goal 2 (Optimize client service delivery for improved customer relation and corporate image) of the GRAs corporate strategic plan 2020-2024. The Authority’s mandates as per the GRA act 2004 (and revised 2010) are exclusively on tax administration, the Authority remains steadfast in pursuing this mandate by ensuring that citizens and entities understand the tax system, know their rights, and honour their obligations to pay their fair share of taxes as legislated by the national assembly.”
He observed that GRA like many Administrations in Africa is faced with the perennial problem of compliance with the revenue laws. “The problem of non-compliance strongly impedes revenue mobilization thus the need for continuous engagement, sensitization, and education of the public and business.
It is gratifying to note that today’s event is the second engagement with the University of the Gambia. This I am made to understand emanated from a request from the executive of the students to benefit given the size of the institution, and the intrinsic link between taxation and national development,” he added.
The GRA, he further strongly believes through such engagement the UTG staff and students will contribute significantly to information sharing thereby creating awareness of the mandate of GRA, the different tax types, the tax laws, and most specifically, the importance of paying tax compliance to boost revenue mobilization efforts.
The seminar will strengthen collaboration to support the implementation of the government’s tax reform initiatives aimed at improving revenue collection for national development.
The Authority has undertaken and continues to take major strides to reform and automate its operations to enhance efficiency, the launching of the ASYCUDA World in June 2022 to facilitate international trade and the ongoing project to implement the integrated tax Administration System (ITAS) to ease the payment of domestic taxes.
For his part, the Director of finance at UTG Mr. Ousainou Corr welcomed the seminar to the University campus. “I have been reliably informed that this seminar will focus on the tax system, their company revenue laws, and the different tax types being administered by the Revenue Authority with the main objective of strengthening the taxpayers’ education programme to improve understanding of the revenue laws.”
Mr. Corr is optimistic that this collaborative venture will broaden the scope of the UTG students’ understanding of taxation toward national development aspirations.