Monday, October 3

WATAF Chairman meets the ECOWAS Member States to boost Revenue Tax Administration

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By Isatou Jallow

The Chairman of West African Tax Administration (WATAF) Mr. Yankuba Darboe doubles as Commissioner General GRA among other members are currently attending a weeklong WATAF Regional high-level policy engagement in Cotonou, Benin.

Mr. Darboe is the Chairman of WATAF, a regional body.

According to CG Darboe, the West African Tax Administration (WATAF) was established through the adoption of an Agreement by the General Assembly of member states to contribute to the efficacy of tax administration 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)”.

According to him, Article 10 of the WATAF Agreement established the General Assembly, Council, and Secretariat as its key organs. He also disclosed that the General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of WATAF and consists of 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 the strategic plan and work plans of WATAF to the General Assembly and have 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 regularly.

Mr. Darboe further stated that the mission of WATAF is seeking to encourage strong collaboration amongst ECOWAS member states towards the improvement of the quality of tax administration in respective states.

He added that the vision of WATAF will strive to promote efficient and effective tax administration in the Member States.

Regarding the high-level policy meeting in Benin, the Commissioner General GRA Mr. Darboe explained that the focus of the discussion at the meeting is on boosting tax revenue administration through efficient leadership and good corporate governance.

According to Mr. Darboe, it is expected that strategies that will help prepare tax administration for this epochal shift will be recommended at his meeting.

“We are interested in gaining useful insights that will help reposition our tax administration for optimum performance,” CG Darbo stated.

He dilated at length on the significance of this high policy convergence noting that is an opportunity for the Gambia to bring in the experienced gear towards helping coordinate the work of WATAF over the past two years and of course the country’s experience in the Gambia.

In addition to that, he said donors and partners met with the WATAF council on 20 September 2022 in Cotonou Benin so it is an avenue to present last year’s WATAF achievements, and planned activities for 2022 as well as to secure their support in the coming year and beyond.