By Victoria Saffa
In a bid to increase the country’s revenue generation drive, the Animated Area for Development Committee (AADC) – with support from Non-State Actors (NSA) – has concluded a three-day training for over one hundred participants on tax collection.
The training, which was held at the St. Martin’s hall at Blackhall Road in the east of Freetown, brought together representatives from various civil society organizations in the country, the Freetown City Council, councilors and community stakeholders.
In his statement, AADC Country Director, Abdul Rahman M. Sesay, said the organization has been working with different non-governmental organizations like Actionaid, Christian Aid, the Ministry of Finance and ENCISS, among others, to promote the country’s revenue generation drive.
“We have concluded training for tax collectors at Waterloo and we are also presently training tax collectors for 150 communities in the Western Area,” he said, adding that they are training people on tax collection and for them to know the importance of paying taxes.
“We want the people of Sierra Leone to know how government is utilizing their tax money and it is important for them to pay their taxes as citizens of the country. After the training, we will select 10 trainees that will continue to monitor the tax issues.”
Director of Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), Abubakarr Kamara, maintained that tax is the key instrument that government uses to raise funds to support education, health, and the construction of markets, among others.
He added that the tax money in the 2014 Sierra Leone budget does not even amount to one billion dollars, stressing that Freetown City Council officials are not doing much in collecting taxes.
“We as CSOs are helping the government and the FCC in sensitizing the people to pay their taxes, which is important in developing the country’s economy,” he said.