- says Commissioner-General
June 30, 2015
Commissioner-General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has described the institution as a key engine of economic growth in the country.
Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara was speaking to Commissioners from the Independent Media Commission (IMC) led by their Chairperson Ambassador Allieu I. Kanu, who had visited the revenue generating institution as part of larger efforts to encourage stakeholders to support professional journalism in the country.
The NRA boss told the media regulators that taxation was fundamental for nation building and sustainable development, while noting that weak revenue performance affects government’s ability to fund social services like public health and education.
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Madam Kallah-Kamara said lack of transparency and accountability concerning the use of tax revenues can cause discontent among citizens and threaten voluntary compliance. She said there was a crucial relationship between taxation and good governance, and that NRA’s performance can only be enhanced when taxpayers appreciate how government utilizes tax revenues.
She however expressed satisfaction over the use of taxes by the government to manage public expenditure and fund developmental projects such as roads construction. This, she noted, helps the Authority in influencing a positive taxpaying culture.
The Commissioner-General stated that state building has been the main focus of government in recent years but that if this was to be done in a sustainable manner, the country needed to increase its tax revenues.
At present, the NRA is being relied upon heavily by government to fund budgetary expenditures due to improved performance of its tax system over the years. Despite the Ebola outbreak, the Authority collected Le2.174 trillion against a target of Le2.132 trillion. The Authority similarly surpassed its first quarter revenue collection for 2015 by over Le35 billion.
The Commissioner-General has also achieved much in modernising systems and processes for better service delivery and it is hoped that she will be able to maintain this momentum.
While addressing the Commissioner-General, the Chairperson of IMC, Ambassador Kanu said the Commission has been engaging stakeholders about what they expect from the news media and why bad journalism matters to them.
He commended the Commissioner-General for transforming the NRA into a reliable source of revenue for government expenditure.
In her response, Madam Kallah-Kamara recognized the contributions of professional journalism to the democratic process, but noted that bad journalism affects not only individuals but the country at large.
She said journalists should be reminded of the fundamental role they play in society.