President Adama Barrow, senior government functionaries, ex-customs chiefs, members of the business community, GRA management and staff as well as a cross-section of tax paying entities were among a glittering array of high-profile guests at the groundbreaking dinner event which saw awards given to winners in different categories.
The award criteria focused on: timely filing of tax returns and declaration, customs declaration, payment of taxes, customs duties and other charge; volume of taxes paid and compliance with tax procedures; import duties and other charges paid and compliance with customs procedures; VAT paid on imports domestically and compliance with laws and procedures; general compliance with customs and tax laws and procedures observed for each nominee for the year 2022.
Addressing the gathering, President Adama Barrow said: “I am honoured to be here today to celebrate the annual Taxpayers award and recognition with all the esteemed taxpayers present. For various reasons, this event is of particular interest to my government and the whole nation.”
The President said the government has been a great benefactor of the private sector, but it also benefits a great deal from the sector’s successes.
“Their contribution to the country’s tax revenue base, for example, is enormous. Accordingly, our potential to locally fund national development programmes largely depends on this revenue base. The GRA is, therefore, one of the major avenues of raising funds for national projects,” the president said.
For his part, GRA Commissioner General, Yankuba Darboe, said: “This annual taxpayer award ceremony, now in its 5th edition, is an initiative of the management of GRA to create a forum to recognise the most compliant taxpayers in our economy as a reward for their unwavering commitment to fulfilling their tax obligations and civic duty.
“It is also meant to promote and foster a culture of voluntary compliance among taxpayers. As we all know, The Gambia is a tax-based economy and as such, taxes are the lifeblood of our economy, providing the necessary funding for public goods and services such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, national security and social programs that benefit everyone,” CG Darboe added.
Ecobank Gambia Ltd won the Largest Taxpayer of the year and the most compliant Bank awards, Shyben A Madi and Sons – importer of the year and Modou Musa Njie won the rental income taxpayer of the year.
The Standard will publish the full list of the awardees tomorrow.