By Omar Bah
As part of its transformation agenda, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced it will train over 100 staff from different departments and units on revenue laws to improve efficiency in tax mobilisation.
Yesterday, the first batch of 25 trainees commenced a five-day intensive training at the Senegambia Beach Hotel. The training conducted by resource persons from the GRA legal and operational departments, is funded by the French Development Agency.
According to GRA Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe, the objective of the training is to ensure that staff of the authority involved in the administration of revenue have a better understanding of the laws they administer.
“By this, we are aligning our conduct and activities to within the limits of the laws while we collect lawful revenue for national development,” CG Darboe said.
He said a well-functioning tax administration is key to mobilising domestic resources in least developed countries, saying the design of the tax system should be influenced by the ability of tax officials to administer it.
“It is important that you take the training seriously because you cannot effectively execute your duty if you don’t master the laws that should guide you. As tax administrators, we are not above the law so it is important we understand that. So, make the training interactive and ask many questions as possible,” he said.
He commended the French Development Agency, IMF, the World Bank, African Development Bank and all GRA partners for supporting the authority’s transformation process.
CG Darboe added that the GRA considers capacity building as an essential part of its digital transformation.
“As such, we work closely with our partners to promote ongoing training across all levels of tax administration with a special focus on best practices and revenue laws. The end goal of this focus on training is to ensure that the tax officials responsible for driving positive reforms are adequately capacitated to do so,” CG Darboe added.
Over the past years, he added, part of GRA’s objectives has been to strengthen and consolidate the specialised tax knowledge of its officials so that they may perform their functions effectively and efficiently.
The GRA deputy legal officer, Ebrima Sallah said the training is in line with the authority’s mandate as provided for in its strategic plan, adding that the capasitisation of staff has been a routine exercise at the GRA over the past years.
“But this year, we want to do it on a quarterly basis targeting about 100 staff from different departments and units of the GRA to ensure they are conversant with the laws that guide their work,” he said.
Yahya Manneh, the director of technical services who doubles as the €2 million project coordinator, commended the French Development Agency for funding the project and urged the trainees to take the opportunity seriously.