26.2 C
City of Banjul
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Regional customs meeting opens

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By Omar Bah

The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) deputy commissioner general Essa Jallow yesterday opened a two-day conference of regional customs finance and audit committees at the Bakadaji Hotel.

The conference is holding under the auspices of the 29th Directors General of Customs of the WCO West and Central Africa (WCA) Regional meeting commencing next Thursday, 4 May. The event is organised under the theme; “Nurturing the next generation by promoting a culture of knowledge sharing and professional pride in customs”.

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Addressing delegates from The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, Benin, Senegal and other West and Central African countries, DCG Jallow said the GRA is pleased to host the important event in Banjul.

 “Based on the terms of reference drawn for the finance and audit committees respectively, they play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth, effective and efficient functioning of our regional body. The work of the Committees ensures that our organisation is functioning on the basis of sound and prudent financial management principles and audits underpinned by best practices and standards promoted by globally recognised professional bodies,” Jallow said.

He commended the tremendous work these committees are doing in preparing the financial statements of members states organisations.

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“Through carrying out timely audits, updating members on the status of the contributions and arrears, giving advice on the implementation of “our strategic plans, providing audit assurance on the financial statements of the organisation and issues of internal controls among other things, they enrich the deliberations and oversight responsibilities of the Conference of Directors General,” he said.

These efforts, Jallow added, have resulted in quality decisions and resolutions taken by the heads of administrations and the effective functioning of the secretariat.

“We have also seen notable improvements in the budgetary process and allocation of resources. Hence, your role cannot be underestimated in ensuring that the practices of our organisations are based on the globally accepted values of good governance, transparency and accountability.

As you begin your two -day convergence to reflect on the financial and audit matters of our organisation, I wish you all the best and challenge you to come up with very comprehensive reports of the highest quality as vital inputs to the successful deliberations at the Conference of Directors General starting next week,” he said.

The WCO-WCA finance committee chairman, Alhagie Denton said the committees’ session is meant to address areas of finance and audit relating to the budgets, accounts and fund managements of the WCO.

The Audit Committee chairman Edwin Conteh said they will use the two-day  event to see how best they can improve the areas of accountability and transparency in the WCO.

The WCO-WCA chairperson’s representative Anyanwu Bede reiterated the important role the finance and audit committees play in the mobilisation of resources and the promotion of transparency and accountability within the region.

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