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Sierra Leone
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Tax incentives to mining companies cost Salone Le.966.6bn loss in 2012

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

According to a report titled ‘Losing Out’, which will be launched today at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown, current tax Incentives cost the country massive revenue loss.

The report, based on research undertaken between November 2012 and September 2013 by Budget Advocacy Network (BAN) and National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives (NACE) with support from Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A), Christian Aid, IBIS and Action Aid, estimated that the government lost revenue to the tune of Le.966.6bn (US$224m) in 2012 from customs duty and Goods and Services Tax exemptions alone, amounting to an enormous 8.3% of GDP, base on figures obtained from the National Revenue Authority (NRA).

The report further states that in 2011, losses were even higher – 13.7% per cent of GDP, with an annual average loss over three years – 2010-2012, amounting to Le.840.1bn (US$199m).

“There has been a massive rise in revenue losses since 2009 as a result of tax incentives granted to the mining sector in relation to the major investments that took place during 2010-2012. However, the government is set to lose further revenues by providing significant corporate income tax incentives to mining companies. Nearly all of these losses are the result of the agreements with African Minerals and London Mining,” the report stated.

The report estimated that the government will lose revenues of US$131m from 2014-2016 alone from corporate income tax incentives granted to five mining companies – an average of US$43.7m a year.

“Government officials in Sierra Leone, interviewed for this research, thought that the tax incentives for the extractive sector were excessive and resulted in a huge loss of revenue. They argued that government should provide an improved enabling environment for foreign investment, such as good infrastructure, rather than providing incentives.”

According to the report, Parliament and the public lack information about the tax incentives granted and are usually not aware of the details until after they have been agreed, and sometimes not even then, a situation which currently makes it impossible for elected parliamentarians, the media and civil society to scrutinise and debate these deals properly to ensure that the country optimally benefits.

Previous articleNigerian Athletics: Desperate AFN Turns To Maurice Greene Former Olympic Gold medalist and world record holder in the 100m, Maurice Green Just a few weeks after the Athletics Federation of Nigeria announced that it lacked sponsors and funds to run its programs, they have done the unthinkable…they hired former Olympic Gold medalist and world record holder in the 100m, Maurice Green. Under normal circumstances, I would be happy and celebrate that, to borrow a slang from Arsene Wenger, we have “Like a new signing”. A world class athlete. However this is not normal circumstance in any way. Its time to stop and think. Maurice Green, the statement said, would oversee the relays from now till after the Commonwealth Games and the African Championships. But the statement was short on a number of issues: How much is Maurice Green paid? What does “oversee” mean? We have a highly paid overall Performance Director from the USA, Angie Taylor; we have another over paid performance director from the USA, Eric Campbell; we have a paid coach, US trained Gabriel Okon; what are their roles now? To “undersee” Maurice Greene? All this is a cosmetic creation to deceive and make the illusion that some work is being done. Why hire a so-called American performance director, take a self styled American trained coach as your head sprint coach to the US and then throw all that in a mix by employing an untested coach in Maurice Green? He was the best sprinter in the world…yes..but what is his pedigree in coaching? Who has he worked with to justify his selection? As a motivator, yes I would have supported but not if being paid with resources that could have trained our athletes and coaches back at home, organize competition and give some aid to our long suffering and neglected home based athletes. We have had Nigerian coaches that have coached world champions….we have produced world beating relay teams..all with Nigerian coaches..why does it have to be any different now? How much is he being paid? What’s the role of those coaches taken from here? Greene is known now for his TV appearances in Dancing with the Stars….AFN will bring a new tune to his steps. And the federation goes on to talk of how we need sponsors? The first role of any federation is to develop their sport back home from down up and to maintain a legacy of producing talents? Can we really say that we are doing that? If the Federation had any grand plan, the best thing they would have done was to bring Maurice Greene to Nigeria to hold a clinic for kids and motivate young people here; the sports will get some publicity and hopefully new participants and sponsors. But in their own wisdom, he will remain in the US training our athletes, and then take them to the Games. What a load of rubbish.
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