October 7, 2015 By Ann Marie Dumbuya
Commissioner-General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara, is in Peru to attend the 2015 annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund and other associated meetings in Lima.
The meetings, which are scheduled for October 5-11, attract ministers of finance, central bankers, heads of development and financial institutions as well as private sector stakeholders and civil society groups to discuss issues relating to economic development, financial stability and the world economy in general.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Kaifala Marah, is leading the Sierra Leonean delegation.
The NRA Commissioner-General and the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone are usually included in Sierra Leone’s delegation since the institutions they head form part of the financial management arm of the government, hence playing significant roles in supporting the activities of the Ministry of Finance.
Another important reason why the presence of the Commissioner-General is necessary in such meetings, according to NRA’s acting Commissioner-General, Abdulai Conteh, is because it is at these meetings that the IMF/World Bank set benchmarks for the NRA and other arms of government.
“At these meetings, the country’s economy is appraised and NRA’s targets are either reviewed upwards or downwards based on economic conditions and other mitigating factors. For example, due to the Ebola outbreak in May 2014 and its associated revenue inhibiting consequences, especially the closure of the two big mining companies—London Mining and African Minerals—our target was reduced from the projected Le2.499 trillion during the time the budget was read, to Le2.132 trillion.
“Of course we met and surpassed this Le2.132 trillion target as the authority collected Le2.174 trillion at the end of 2014. Nevertheless, usually, our targets are reviewed upwards to help close gaps in the national budget,” Conteh said.
The acting Commissioner-General stated that while in Peru, Madam Kallah-Kamara will also be involved in a series of meetings to lobby representatives from multilateral and development organisations to seek future collaboration, technical and financial support for the NRA. In addition, she will seek to build new alliances and strengthen existing relationships with development partners.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund Annual and Spring Meetings are usually held at the IMF and World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. The Spring Meetings of 2015 were held in Washington, D.C from April 17-19.