By Omar Bah
The Gambia Revenue Authority customs manager attached at Basse customs post has disclosed that the border closure between Guinea and Senegal has negatively impacted revenue collection.
Addressing top GRA officials including Commissioner General, Yankuba Darboe who was on tour to GRA’s installations, Buba Ceesay said the political crisis in Guinea Conakry which led to the border closure has dealt revenue collection a big blow in URR.
“Given that Guinea is Gambia’s strong counterpart, the crisis is affecting our revenue collection,” he said.
Ceesay said though Guinea has since opened its border with Mali, they haven’t considered opening the border with Senegal which continues to greatly affect revenue collection in URR.
“The Gambia is the main transit in the sub-region and if borders are closed it will cause a negative impact on our revenue performance, particularly in the URR as the main entrance,” he said.
He said the few revenues they collected are mainly from smugglers from Guinea Conakry to Mali.
“So because of these factors, I cannot proudly declare Basse Customs Post revenue performance for this year. We hope that this will change soon because there is an ongoing dialogue between the two countries to ease the closure,” he said.
Ceesay also took advantage of the meeting to raise number of issues and constraints affecting his office which include shortage of personnel.
In a separate but related development, the GRA regional police commissioner in the Central River Region, Malamin Sankareh, informed the GRA visiting team that the current situation of security in CRR is peaceful.
“This is due to the close collaboration, cooperation, and coordination among sister securities based in CRR,” he said.
Commissioner Sankareh commended the Inspector General of Police and service chiefs for their foresight in introducing the Operation Zero Crime that curbed insecurity in the country.