The commissioner general of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) who doubles as chairman of West African Tax Administration (WATAF), Yankuba Darboe, is currently attending a long-week WATAF regional high level policy meeting in Cotonou, Benin, where they are boosting tax revenue administration.
Regarding the high level policy meeting, Commissioner General Darboe explained that the focus of the discussion at this year’s policy meeting was on boosting tax revenue administration through efficient leadership and good corporate governance.
According to CG Darboe, West African Tax Administration (WATAF) was established through an adoption of Agreement by the General Assembly of member states to contribute to the efficacy of tax administrations and improved public service delivery in support of the development of countries in West Africa.
“Its inaugural meeting was held in Abuja, Nigeria, on September 12, 2011. Membership of WATAF is open to all countries of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).”
He stated that Article 10 of the WATAF Agreement establishes the General Assembly, Council and Secretariat as its key organs. He also explained that the General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of WATAF and comprises all heads of tax administrations of member states or their authorised representatives.
“A Council of six (6) members is elected by the General Assembly to convene meetings of the General Assembly, accept applications of new members, prepare and submit strategic plan and work plans of WATAF to the General Assembly and have an oversight of the Secretariat. The Secretariat is headed by an Executive Secretary who reports to the Chairperson of the Council. The Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day administration of WATAF and for reporting on those operations to the Council on a regular basis.”
Mr. Darboe further stated that the mission of WATAF seeks to encourage strong collaboration amongst ECOWAS member states towards the improvement of the quality of tax administration in respective states.
He also emphasised that the vision of WATAF will strive to promote efficient and effective tax administration in Member States.
According to Mr. Darboe it is expected that the strategy that would help prepare tax administration for this epochal shift will be recommended at the meeting.
“We are interested in gaining useful insights that will help reposition our tax administration for optimum performance.”
He dilated at length on the significance of this high level policy convergence, saying it would be an opportunity for the Gambia to bring in the experience gained towards helping coordinating the work of WATAF over the past two years.
He disclosed that donors and partners met the WATAF council on 20 September 2022 in Cotonou which created an avenue to present WATAF’s previous year’s achievements, planned activities for 2022 as well as to secure their support in the coming year and beyond.
Mr. Darboe was elected to the leadership of the West African Tax Administration (WATAF) for two years. The GRA boss’ appointment came into effect on 20 October, 2020 during WATFA 16 General Assembly virtual meeting held from the 20th to 22nd October, 2020.