By Alhaji M Jalloh
Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Dr. Samuel S. Jibao, told journalists at his Wellington Street office in Freetown on Wednesday this week that the New Direction administration has not increased or levied any extra tax in the country’s tax regime.
Dr. Jibao’s comment was in response to allegations that the current tax system in the country has not been favorable to business people which has seen many businesses folding up their operations.
Dr. Jibao, said that NRA is instituting the commitment of President Julius Maada Bio to block all leakages which has been adversely affecting revenue mobilization. He said that in the past, business people used to beat the system by tendering wrong information about their goods thereby paying the wrong custom and excise duty. But now that his administration has been able to trace information internationally which will determine the actual value of where the goods are bought, business people have no option but to pay the exact amount as mandated by law.
Dr. Jibao, said that there has been an increase in revenue collection by 36% and the Gross Domestic Product ratio increased by 1.5% which has never been done in the past. He said that his administration has been able to fill 70% of senior management positions that was hindering their tax generating drive and said that the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner General, Mrs. Jeneba J. Bangura was meant to provide adequate support to his work.
Dr. Jibao, said that the introduction of the ASYCUDA world has reduced human interface and increase revenue generation and the establishment of the internal affairs department has helped to monitor and caution staffs against corruption.
Dilating on the current relationship between NRA and the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Jibao, said that there has been much improvement in the relationship between the two-key financial institutions and that has helped to improve tax administration and policy formulation.
Giving a statistics report on revenue, Dr. Philip M. Kargbo, Director Monitoring, Research and Planning said that from January to May in 2019, NRA generated Le2,229,817,000.000 (Two trillion two hundred and twenty nine billion, eight hundred and seventeen million) while in 2018, from January to May, Le1,633,960,000.000 which shows a variance of Le595,857,000.000.