By Muhammed L. Bojang
The Network of Financial and Tax Reporters (NFTR) – Gambia Chapter on Wednesday organised the Public-Private partnership and media engagement forum to sensitize the public on tax compliance.
The forum was held at The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Kerr Jula office in Bijilo.
The forum was aimed at bringing key players together to discuss the importance of tax compliance and the need for tax reduction or tax break due to the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Abdoulie Nyockeh, president Network of Financial and Tax Reporters (NFTR) – Gambia Chapter said the primary objective of the network is to ensure there is transparency on tax payment between government, the business community and tax authorities.
He noted that: “this forum is a platform to meet and discuss the need for public-private sector partnership (PPP) on tax compliance as well as the role of the media on educating and sensitizing the public on the significance of tax payment and itsimpact”.
“The role of the private sector in the payment of tax is crucial to our economy considering the negative impact of the pandemic”, he added, saying there is need for government to consider and exercise a tax break or tax reduction due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Nyockeh said NFTR Gambia Chapter was formed to closely work with tax authorities to raise awareness for revenue mobilization for government.
He further said that the forum was geared towards establishing a strong partnership between journalists, public and private sectors as well as map out the way forward for a better Gambia.
He commended GCCI, GRA and The Gambia Bankers Association for the collaboration. He also thanked Jah Oil Company Ltd for thire support.
He concluded by urging other private sector institutions to emulate Jah Oil Company in supporting the network’s cause and not see them as witch-hunters but development partners.
Alhagie Jeng, acting Executive Secretary of The Gambia Bankers Association said: “The Gambia is a tax based economy and Gambians should take taxes seriously as we do not have the natural resources like Oil and Gas”.
He urged citizens to be tax compliance, saying taxes are very important to government and the development of The Gambia.
He also encouraged government agencies and private sector to go digital to properly manage data as well as enhance easy and smooth tax control and compliance.