GRA staff trained to better collect tax for national development  

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By: Dawda Baldeh

Staff of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) have undergone training on transfer pricing in revenue collection. The training was conducted by GRA in partnership with West Africa Tax Administration Forum (WATAF) and United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs.

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The training intends to build the capacity of GRA staff on the fundamental principles of transfer pricing.

Yankuba Darboe, the Commissioner General of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), underscored the process and significance of the training.

“A very careful selection was made for the trainees. We expect those who are lucky to be part of the training to take it seriously so that they are well-equipped with the understanding of transfer pricing.”

He urged the participants to emulate Marry Sarr, who according to Commissioner Darboe, is a hardworking, dedicated and ambitious staff whose efforts have been recognized by the GRA board.

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“Marry is a young man that I admire because he has dedicated all his life to GRA, and I pray that he achieves his dreams.”

Commissioner Darboe asked the trainees to share the knowledge gained with their colleagues who were not fortunate to be part of the training.

Babatunde Oladapo, executive secretary of WATAF, said the objective is to build the capacity of tax officials in West Africa.

“Gambia is a key member of WATAF and its chairman is the Commissioner of GRA who is serving his second term. One of the objectives of this is to develop Gambia tax officials so that they can appropriately collect tax for national development,” he said.

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Mr. Oladapo disclosed that the training came after a request from GRA to train its officials on transfer pricing.

“The world has changed with how we do business and now we are doing business with multinationals. If you want to retain your fair share of the tax revenue, you need to be abreast with current tax practices.

Transfer pricing is one of the keys that you need to upgrade yourself. Tax officials need to be sufficiently empowered with skills to be able to track transactions. Sometimes, multinationals are advised by their tax advisors to avoid paying tax,” he added.

He further stated that there are issues of trade mispricing by companies setting up businesses. “You need to have specialized skills to be able to track such business operators,” he advised.

Ms. Emily Muyaa, chief of Capacity Development Unit at the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, said the training has come at a better time. She expressed optimism that the training will effectively help the tax officials in their daily work.

“Transfer pricing continues to be a key critical area for developing countries. This training will help the tax officials to understand more about tax pricing and share the knowledge with their colleagues,” she explained.

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