January 20, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
With the aim to promoting tax collection and help boost the economy of the country, the Chinese government through the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Wu Peng has yesterday handed over container inspection equipment and supporting remote supervision and control system to the National Revenue Authority (NRA).
Speaking at the handing over Ceremony of the container inspection equipment and supporting remote supervision and control system, H.E Wu Peng, said the signing of the compliance certificate was a sign of promoting the economic and social activities in Sierra Leone.
He said the equipment would help prevent smuggling and ant -terrorism activities in the country, and that it would make trade easier, especially so when President Koroma had vowed to promote investment in Sierra Leone.
He further stated that the system would help revenue collection, trade facilitation, border management and control fiscal revenue, adding that it would prevent smuggling behaviour and improve customs clearance efficiency and strongly support President Ernest Bai Koroma post-Ebola Recovery Priorities trade facilitation and tax administration.
In her statement, the Commissioner General of NRA, Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara, thanked the Chinese government and its people for their support to the National Revenue Authority and Sierra Leone as a whole.
She said over the years, China has been a key development partner to Sierra Leone especially in the area of infrastructure, health, education mining, and human resource development, and that in 2014 when the country experienced Ebola outbreak, China was the first country to step in and provided financial and medical support to the country.
She said as an institution, they have enjoyed a great privilege of partnership from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and that in 2012 the then Minister of Finance , Dr. Kaifala Marah and the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone signed an acceptance of certificate for two set of scan and inspection machines.
She further disclosed that the first machines was donated by the Chinese Government and that they were shipped and installed at the Queen Elizabeth Quay and the Gendama Checkpoint respectively.
She narrated that the Chinese government had also trained some NRA staff on how to operate the scanners at the China Custom Department in China.
She disclosed that the construction work of the scanner at the Gbalamuya was almost completed and that the contracting company had intended to hand it over at the end of February, this year.
She appealed to the Chinese Government for spear parts and safety gears as well as the provision of more training to NRA staff on how to operate the machine.
She said the scanner would help the work of the NRA and promotes effective collection of revenue at border points and that it will also help ease congestion at the port.
Also speaking, the Manager of Nuctech Company Limited, Richard Yang, supplier of the scanning machine, said the successful completion of the program will improve the working efficiency of Sierra Leone’s national customs for the inspection of import and export container cargoes, which also complies with the socio-economic development requirements in Sierra Leone.
He said In December 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the Sierra Leonean President Koroma in Bejing and the two Heads of State reached agreement in promoting the Sino-Sierra Leonean relationships as comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.
He said as the largest supplier of the container/vehicle inspection equipment in the world, Nuctech will inherit and carry forward the tradition of reciprocal cooperation between China and African countries, including Sierra Leone.
He further that they were looking forward to reinforcing further cooperation with the National Revenue Authority in Sierra Leone in the future and contributing to create a safer and more stable society for higher economic development.