The commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority Ibrahim Swaray, has, on Wednesday 30th of August 2023 commenced a series dialogues with members of the Business Community at Sierra Palms Resort Lumley Beach in Freetown.
Since it is the first in a series of engagements with the business consistuency, Swaray tactfully articulated his intentions to remove the barriers of collaboration between the NRA and the Business Community. As a new man on the job, Swaray expressed his desire to listen to the concerns of the Business Community with the aim of meeting their expectations in accordance with the law.
"I have been charged with the responsibility of doing a job that thrives on the use of data which you all have but have refused to give to me, a case in point is the refusal to input sales in the GST machine which is clearly impeding revenue generation efforts” Swaray emphasized. He said one of the reasons why he called the meeting is to announce an open-door policy, where he will engage on the way forward with the business community on compliance.
Prominent among the issues highlighted by the businesspeople included:
1. Timely release of containers to avoid demurrage.
2. Equity: the NRA to increase the tax base to reduce the burden on the current taxpayers.
3. Accessing tax credit returns should be a top priority for the NRA.
4. Effective Communication between the NRA and taxpayers.
Mr. Swaray promised to address these issues as soon as possible, and encouraged the business community to work with him to generate the much needed revenue to service government programs in Sierra Leone.
Ibrahim Brima Swarray is expected to meet with other critical members of the business community like the financial institutions, mining institutions later this week.