Gambia: GRA Conduct Tax Seminar for Journalists

26 November 2020

The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday conducted a-day seminar for journalists meant to educate and sensitise the media and public on tax abuse matters. The seminar, organised in partnership with The Gambia Press Union, was held at Senegambia beach hotel.

Gambia Revenue Authority was established by an Act of parliament in 2004. The authority is an agent of government of The Gambia under the general supervision of the ministry of finance and economic affairs.

Essa Jallow, Deputy Commission General and head of domestic taxes department described the seminar as very important, saying it will increase awareness of the media fraternity on the mandate of GRA revenue laws and the current GRA cooperative plan for 2020 to 2024.

He added that the media as a fourth estate is an important partner in terms of advocacy and information dissemination and sharing.

"GRA's mandate is to collect revenue for the state to provide public goods and services such as education and infrastructure", he said.

He added that taxation provides basic contract between the state and citizens, saying the media can provide an important link to inform citizens on their duties and responsibilities to comply and volunteer in their tax obligation under the law.

"Through the media," Jallow said citizens and tax collectors "can hold government accountable on how funds are spent for national development."

Lamin Jahateh, programme manager at The Gambia Press Union (GPU) said it is part of GPU's mandate to professionalise the media by training journalists on the barriers that keep them away from reporting on tax and other important matters.

He said The Gambia is a tax based economy and people need to know why they should pay taxes and the importance of tax payment.

Lucy Faye Jagne, chairperson board of directors at Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) said Gambia's budget is based on income collected by the GRA.

Yankuba Darboe, Commissioner General Gambia Revenue Authority said this is the first tax education forum dedicated to the media fraternity.

He added that the seminar was supported by UNDP through the ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

He said the objective of the seminar was to share tax collection processes and produce and other related matters with reference to the law.

He said paying tax is everybody's duty and also self assessment.

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