September 28, 2022

Dr. Samuel Jibao, Commissioner General 

 

By Ralph Sesay

The Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Dr. Samuel Jibao, has stated in Freetown that integrity will be very much pivotal in tax administration under his watch.

Dr. Jibao noted that this has been a challenge at the NRA but his administration is seriously looking at it. He told newsmen that he has set up an investigation unit to investigate personnel found wanting of corruption. This unit, he further noted, will be transformed into an internal affairs Department with the mandate to fully investigate personnel found wanting.

“As commissioner General, I will even look at the lifestyle of my personnel to see if they are living above their income,” the no nonsense Commissioner General said.

He took the opportunity to also inform the press that the NRA is currently looking at a case involving three containers of goods being smuggled out of the country. Few of his staff members at Customs and Water Quay, he noted, are being currently investigated around this alleged smuggling of containers. According to him, if found wanting, they will be dismissed.

The drivers of the trailers are helping the police with the investigation, while the business premises of the individual businessman smuggler are being sealed off and locked by the police.

The Commissioner also used the occasion to disclose to the press that in the short term, NRA is cleaning up their data to assess tax liabilities and the number of customers who have made declarations but not honoring them.

He noted that they are now fully enforcing the necessary tax laws, which, according to him, have led to an astronomical increase in daily tax collection from the 5- 6 billion per day collected by the previous NRA administration to between 20 and 25 billion daily under his watch.

“My target is to meet the President’s vision of increasing the GDP from the current 11% to 20% in the next five years,” he maintained.

On the medium term, Mr. Jibao noted that NRA will completely change the method of tax administration to complete automation. This, according to him, is to reduce the contact between the tax payer and the tax officials at the Authority.

He disclosed that with support from the World Bank they will be rolling out the integrated tax administration system very shortly. This will eventually link all business processes with all units and departments in the Authority as well as other Government institutions like NASSIT, the Commissioner noted.

He concluded by noting that, there is also a project on the pipeline to move to the electronic cash registration in order to effectively monitor GST, which, he noted, has been evaded by most business people in the country.

“It is our intention to make NRA competitive with our neighbours, the region and the sub region,” Mr. Jibao maintained.