By: Nyima Sillah
The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on Thursday hosted the meeting of the finance committee and audit committee on the World Customs Organization of West and Central Africa at the Bakadaji Hotel, Kololi.
The meeting was held under the theme – Nurturing the Next Generation by Promoting a Culture of Knowledge Sharing and Professional Pride In Customs.
The statutory meeting formed part of the 29th conference of Directors General of Customs of The WCO-WCA Region and has brought together stakeholders from different West African Countries.
Speaking at the conference, the Chair of the Finance Committee, Mr. Alhagie Denton said they have important work to do since the session is meant to address areas of finance and audit from the perspective of the finance committee, areas of finance related to the budgets of the WCO relating to the accounts of the WCO the fourth management as well as contribution.
He noted that at the end of the two days conference, they will be ready with the issue of accounts, budgets, and contributions to be reported to the experts as well as to the DG’s next week.
Anyanwu Bede, Rep of Vice Chairperson of the WCO-WCA, expressed gratitude to the government and the people of The Gambia for accepting and honoring to host the meeting of the finance committee participatory to the main conference of the Directors General of Customs or West and Central Africa for the year 2023.
The finance committee, he said is responsible for the mobilization of resources for the use of regional activities and they developed and evolved means of mobilizing these funds, noting they commenced this committee, particularly for the recent innovation that they brought to the region through the expertise they got from the Gambia.
On behalf of the Commissioner General of GRA, Essa Jallow, Deputy Commissioner GRA, added that based on the terms of reference drawn from the finance and audit committees respectively WCO-WCA plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth, effective, and efficient functioning of the regional body.
“The work of the committees ensured that our organization is functioning on the bases of sound and prudent financial management principles and audit underpinned by best practices and standards promoted by globally recognize professional bodies,” he stated.
However, he added that to recognize the efforts of the members of this committee in preparing the financial statement of their organization carrying out timely audits, updating members on the status of the contribution and arrears, and giving advice on the implementation of their strategic plans providing audit assurance of the financial statements of the organization.
“These efforts have resorted in quality decisions and resolutions taken by the heads of our administrations and the effective functioning of the secretariat. We have also seen multiple improvements in the budgetary process and allocation of resources hence your role cannot be underestimated in ensuring that the practices of our organization are based on the globally accepted values of good governance, transparency, and accountability,” he added.