Statement by the Chairperson GRA Board of Directors at the Taxpayer Day held at the Paradise Suites Hotel on the 25th January 2019
Your Excellency, The Vice President & Minister of Women’s Affairs
Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly
My Lord the Chief Justice
Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
Other Cabinet Ministers here present
Members of the National Assembly
Colleagues Board Members
IMF Resident Representative
UNDP Resident Representative
GRA Management and Staff
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
The media and other protocols duly observed
Ladies and Gentlemen
I join the GRA Commissioner General in welcoming all of us to today’s distinguished Taxpayers Award Ceremony. Allow me to acknowledge the presence of my fellow GRA Board Members and the GRA Management team. (Introduce Board Members and Commissioner).
As part of the global and corporate best practice, GRA has introduced this important culture to annually recognize, celebrate and reward the efforts of our loyal and compliant taxpayers.
The practice is very important as it acknowledges the contribution of the business community in mobilization of revenues required for development. (Rwanda for 16 years, Kenya, Tanzania all have taxpayers day).
Therefore, today, marks a great day when taxpayers are celebrated and made known for their contributions to the economy. This day is ideally placed at the beginning of the financial year of the government in order to appreciate our distinguished Taxpayers who are working very hard to liberate our country from external resource dependency. Therefore, Mobilization of domestic resources is crucial for the funding of our own budget, our own priorities, to spur our own economic growth and development.
While marking the Taxpayer’s day, I would like to highlight the fundamental role of revenue as an enabler to the implementation of government’s agenda, namely, National Development Plan 2017. Our focus at GRA is to therefore, find an equilibrium between expanding the tax base and mobilization of revenues. In this regard, GRA’s tax-base expansion strategy is geared towards new, high potential revenue frontiers that are simple and user-friendly systems.
Over the years, GRA has demonstrated its capacity to serve as a key pillar in supporting The Gambia’s development agenda through effective revenue mobilization which stands at almost 13% of GDP in 2018. This has been earned through consistent focus on reforms aimed at building institutional capacity and modernizing revenue administration processes, both legal and administrative.
GRA continues to benefit from capacity and technical support from government and other international agencies and the impact is felt on the way we do our business. GRA has been able to improve service delivery and strengthen relationship with clients, the taxpayers, who are the backbone to its achievements. We took time throughout last year to educate, engage and consult our clients, the taxpayers, in order to demystify the tax system and increase the level of compliance.
The Board of Directors of GRA will spare no effort, in providing the right leadership, and policy direction, to effectively and efficiently mobilise more revenues, while ensuring fairness and quality service delivery to our esteemed taxpayers.
In conclusion, I would like to reassure you all that, GRA remains committed to safeguard that, Gambia achieves its social economic and development goals by playing its designated role as the government’s resource collection agency.
Thank you all for your support accorded to GRA, during this Taxpayers’ Award Ceremony today.
Our genuine congratulations go to all taxpayers who will be awarded in today’s ceremony.
And of course, to every compliant taxpayer,
we congratulate you. and extend our recognition for your participation in this noble cause, as Gambia continues its journey towards financial independence.
Lucy Mamganga Fye-Jagne, GRA Chairperson.