July 14, 2015
Having donated a brand new 24-seaterToyota bus to Fourah Bay College in November last year, the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has made a similar donation to Njala University College (NUC). The handing over ceremony of the bus took place on Friday 10th July at the NUC campus in Njala.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner-General of the NRA, Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara, said that while the Authority is primarily responsible for collecting national revenue, facilitating trade and preventing the importation of harmful drugs into the country, it takes its corporate social responsibility seriously.
“NRA believes in giving back to society. We have already donated a bus to FBC and today we are here for a similar donation, which signals strongly our commitment to support government’s ambitions of providing quality education for all,” said the NRA chief. “I must say this spirit of giving augurs well for our society as it is now widely recognized that sustainable development cannot be achieved by government actions alone. As such, big corporations as well as parastatals are increasingly being looked upon to assist government’s development agenda through corporate social responsibility.
“In fact, this is why corporate social responsibility is now part of the Performance Tracking Table (PTT) to ensure that MDAs contribute to a number of core developmental goals in the Agenda for Prosperity such as education, health and agriculture. There is no doubt that the donation of this mini-bus will contribute to salvaging the transportation challenges of the university; and we hope that the bus would be handled with utmost care. To ensure this, we will sign an MoU with the university administration as this is the practice we adopted with Fourah Bay College.”
The Commissioner-General commended NUC for contributing immensely to the socio-economic well-being of the country through teaching and research in agriculture, education, pure sciences and more recently in technology and social sciences.
This sentiment was echoed by the Chairman of the NRA Board, Sulaiman Kabba-Koroma Esq., who stated that the university’s relevance in education, agriculture and rural development cannot be overemphasized.
He said that since its birth in 1964, NUC has stood the test of time and described it as an accomplished centre of excellence for knowledge and service to the country and mankind.
Responding to the acting Vice Chancellor’s call for more support to the college, Madam Kallah-Kamara encouraged the administration to seek more public-private partnerships. She said while the donation of the bus marks the move towards cultivating a meaningful and lasting relationship between Njala University and the NRA, it is advisable that the college builds strong partnerships not only for financial support, but also for mentorship and employment of its graduates.
“Njala University, like other tertiary institutions in the country, produces thousands of new graduates each year. This means that there should be no disconnect between universities and private and public sectors—your potential employers and donors,” the Commissioner-General. “To carry out our core functions effectively, the NRA requires qualified and competent human resource base and we look up to our universities to provide quality human capital. This is why we want to be viewed as interested stakeholders in the education sector.”
Madam Kallah-Kamara implored the college to continue the good work they have started and to continue seeking improved partnership, cooperation and mutual support with the NRA and other parastatals.
Speaking on the importance of taxation for national development, the Commissioner-General noted that an efficient tax system is fundamental for sustainable development and that the NRA should be cheered for being an engine for economic transformation and for supporting the country’s national development agenda.
“NRA plays a vital role in the sustainable growth of our economy. On the global stage, there is a changing growth pattern which raises new policy challenges for low income countries. In the midst of these global downside risks, our foremost task is to implement sound fiscal and monetary policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and focus on structural reforms for growth and inclusiveness. “Achieving this requires the concerted and coordinated efforts of all Sierra Leoneans to support the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity.
“Indeed, we have moved from a wholly donor driven economy to a self sustaining nation with the hopes and dreams of attaining a middle income status. Certainly, together, through our taxes, we build prosperity. The taxes we pay strengthen government’s capacity to implement its development and welfare goals in line with its national development agenda. The fundamental responsibility of taxpayers as citizens of this nation therefore, is to comply with the tax laws and support the NRA to mobilise revenue for national development. This support is necessary and indispensable to the journey we have set ourselves towards achieving government’s prosperity goals.”