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Sunday, March 3, 2024

GRA signs MoU to boost transparency in revenue collection

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By Omar Bah

The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has signed an MoU with the Financial Reporting Oversight Board (FROB) to boost transparency and accountability in revenue collection. Signed on Monday, the MoU is expected to promote tax compliance and domestic revenue mobilisation. It also seeks to protect the economic interest of The Gambia through the sharing of information, relating to taxpayers and end users of services in the realisation that tax fraud and other forms of tax evasion are detrimental to the country’s economic, fiscal, and social well-being.

Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe recognised that the MoU heralds a new beginning of enhanced revenue collection.

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“The MoU will augment the transparency and reliability of financial statements and reports and by extension, GRA’s ability to generate more revenue. It is also going to help and enhance our work and capability to be able to meet our 2024 target. So, it is a good beginning so that everybody over there will understand that any financial statement that we come across should be authentic,” he added.

CG Darboe said the GRA has been signing MoUs with different institutions, leading to lots of improvements in the Authority’s operations.

“We are looking forward to having a very good working relationship with FROB. At the same time, we believe that we will also open up and be available for any information that you want. Once we sign the MoU, it will help us in terms of information-sharing and we will assure you that there will be confidentiality in whatever is shared with the GRA. The GRA is here for all of us. Anything that makes our work better, it’s good for the country because we are collecting revenue for the betterment of everybody in the country. So, I am happy we are going to sign this MoU today,” he stated.

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The chairman of the Board of Directors of FROB, Abdoulie Jallow, said: “It is a great pleasure and privilege for us to be part of this historic event in the signing of the MoU between FROB and the GRA. I would like to convey our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the CG and his team for their cooperation and support since our initial meeting a few months ago in which Director Tambedou led a team from FROB to initiate this mutually beneficial relationship.”

Jallow explained that FROB is a regulatory body established under Section 44 of the Financial Reporting Act (2013).

“It is mandated to oversee the financial reporting and corporate governance practices of Public Interest Entities (PIEs) and the profession in The Gambia to ensure transparency, accountability, and good governance in Public Interest Entities (PIEs) in The Gambia. It has oversight responsibility over the Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants and in May 2022, the Board recruited the senior management of the institution,” he further explained.

He said the goal of FROB is to establish a framework of strong partnership and collaboration with GRA to help it enhance the reliability of the financial statements of PIEs.

“With our shared interest in credible and reliable financial reports, the MoU will ensure tax compliance and financial reporting oversight of PIEs. We also hope to deepen our collaboration with the GRA by ensuring the tax laws and regulations are understood by us as a regulatory body and most importantly, by PIE professionals involved in the financial reporting process in meeting their reporting obligations,” he underscored

Jallow added: “We aim to share insights, exchange information and resources to better serve the public interest pursuant to our respective visions and core values. The Gambia is undoubtedly emerging as a dynamic and resilient economy, attracting international investors and businesses alike. It is, therefore, important to have a robust regulatory framework that ensures accurate and reliable financial reporting, corporate disclosures, and good corporate governance practices underpinned by enhanced quality and standard of auditing in The Gambia. This, we hope, will give confidence to investors, especially foreign investors, particularly with the establishment of a stock market in the country. The world is witnessing a paradigm shift in the way organisations operate, emphasising the importance of environmental, social, and governance factors. The progressive strides taken by the government of The Gambia in this regard will undoubtedly provide valuable insights that can shape our future policies and regulations.”

He said FROB objective is to enhance “our regulatory oversight capabilities and contribute to the collective growth of the Gambia’s economy.”

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