By Omar Bah
The Gambia Revenue Authority Board of Directors headed by its chairperson Madam Lucy Fye-Jagne Tuesday commenced a nationwide tour to the authority’s installations across the country.
The board comprises representatives from the ministries of finance and trade and senior management of the GRA headed by the Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe.
The purpose of the tour is to enable the board to meet customs staff on the ground and get first-hand information on working conditions, progress achieved by various tax offices and customs posts, challenges faced by staff of various outlets in the regions and proffer plans on how to overcome those challenges.
The customs manager at Barra, Lamin M Touray expressed delight over the visit. He informed the board on the number of staff and apartments at his post.
He disclosed that Barra tax office has 130 files and 3 corporate tax payers.
“We have collected 98 percent of the target we were tasked to collect in November 2023 which is D10,432,579.00,” he said.
He informed the board that they are facing challenges with regard to refurbishment and replacement of computers and the enforcement of tax collection on boats at Barra.
Yusupha Cham, manager Amdalai border customs, described the visit as a big morale booster for his staff.
He thanked the board specially CG Darboe for accelerating the digital transforming of customs processes.
“The ASYCUDA World and the E-Tracking systems have been implemented at Amdalai with great success. The ASYCUDA World has brought better speed, accuracy and reliability and made data collection and analysis easier,” he said.
He added that the e-tracking is also in full swing and has eliminated the need for human escorts and mitigated revenue risks associated with the former system.
“We are also facing vehicle smuggling issues in Amdalai,” he said.
Cham said the Amdalai border customs has collected D167 million in 2023 and the figure is expected to reach D200 million by end of December.
He stated that this was due to the diligence, hard work and commitment of his staff.
Commissioner General, Yankuba Darboe informed the staff that he was first impressed with the level of cooperation between the GRA and other sister security services at Amdalai border post.
He commended the both managers and staff for their commitment in their revenue collection and assured them of GRA’s continued support.
He said without Gambia’s security, peace and stability there will be no revenue collection.
“We are here to listen to your achievements, challenges and see how best we can help you to overcome these challenges to ensure proper revenue collection,” he said.