By Omar Bah
The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced it will soon install a new digital system that will be able to monitor and record goods that are transiting into the country. The new system called Sigmat, funded by Ecowas, is a software that will interface with the Asycuda-World and is mainly to monitor goods in transit within the sub region.
The measure is part of significant strides towards addressing tax collection gaps with the installation of the Asycuda-World and other advanced technologies that has significantly helped the authority to reduce leakages and improved revenue collections.
The Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe told journalists Tuesday that the authority is committed to ensuring that all its systems are digitalised to avoid leakages and ensure more transparency.
“They have already done all the installations and we are just waiting for Senegal to do theirs for us to commence the service,” he said.
CG Darboe who recently returned from a study trip to Uganda and Ghana said the top officials of the authority embarked on the trip to explore new means and technologies to improve its monitoring systems that will address the underreporting of tax obligations.
He said in Uganda, the GRA team visited a company that inspects and records all the fuel imported into the country through that border.
CG Darboe said while in Ghana, the GRA team engaged a company that monitors factories and ensures everything that is produced is accounted for.
“We decided to engage that company because we now have a lot of factories in the Gambia who pay excise tax based on their production but it is ordinarily very difficult for us to get the right statistics from them. So, this company will be able to monitor all the productions in these factories and send the data to the GRA so that at the end of the month we will be able to bill them as required,” he added. He said the authority wants to have all these things in place before the end of 2023.
“We are doing all this because we want to digitalise all our operations to ensure that we have fewer human interventions and ensure more effective revenue mobilisation,” he added.
The GRA boss commended the country’s taxpayers for being cooperative and tax compliant and urged those who are lagging behind in tax obligations to turn a new page in 2023 for the interest of the country.
The tax man said despite all the global economic challenges GRA was able to collect over D12 billion thanks to the staff and the government for maintaining peace and stability in the country.
“We also urged all Gambians to remain vigilant and safeguard the country’s peace and stability,” he said.