The National Revenue Authority (NRA) donated a brand new Toyota bus to Fourah Bay College on Wednesday, November 26. Presenting the bus to the university authorities, the Commissioner-General of NRA, Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara said the bus was donated in the spirit of the college’s motto: “Non Sibi Sed Allis” which translates from Latin to English “Not for Self, but for Others”.
Madam Kallah-Kamara explained that she got the idea of donating the bus to FBC when the Minority Leader of Parliament Bernadette Lahai was lamenting about the challenges faced by students to attend classes as a result of a shutdown of their hostels for rehabilitation. She said that while NRA plays a pivotal role in helping government finance education programmes, the education sector is also one of the sectors of the country’s development agenda that is part of NRA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme.
‘We are aware of the economic, environmental and social impacts of our operations to society. It is therefore in our interest and that of the country as a whole to focus attention on social responsibility particularly at this difficult time’ Madam Kallah-Kamara stated. The Commissioner-General explained that NRA’s CSR strategy allows the Authority to focus in areas where potential impacts will be most significant such as education. She said it is not only NRA’s responsibility to collect revenues, but also contribute towards national development stressing that education is not a privilege, but a right for all which role in national development cannot be overemphasized.
The Board Chairman, NRA Board of Directors, Sulaiman Kabba-Koroma Esq said it is now widely recognized that sustainable development cannot be achieved by government actions alone. As such, he added, big corporations as well as parastatals are increasingly being looked upon to assists government development agenda through corporate social responsibility. He said this is why corporate social responsibility is now part of the Performance Tracking Table (PTT) to ensure MDAs contribute to a number of core developmental issues already central to government’s agenda for prosperity such as education, health and agriculture.
The Board Chairman said NRA takes its corporate social responsibility very seriously. ‘Yes, the Taxman can be charitable. We care for our stakeholders; we care for the taxpayers or potential taxpayers (students) because if they are not there we as NRA cannot exist’, he stated. Mr Kabba-Koroma said the Board and Management of NRA have followed with keen interest recent development within the college campus and its wider environs such as the rehabilitation of hostel blocks and roads leading up to the campus. He said since students have not been in residence on campus, the issue of safe and reliable mode of transportation for students have become pronounced.
“Despite the indefinite closure of our universities and schools due to the Ebola outbreak, we must take charge of our children’s destiny and prepare ourselves for the eventual re-opening of schools. This is why we are here today to donate this bus” Mr Kabba-Koroma explained. He described Fourah Bay College as the country’s ‘proud heritage’ which has stood the test of time adding that FBC’s relevance in the history, culture, education and development of Sierra Leone is well recorded.
The Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone said the bus will help limit the number of un-roadworthy taxis and motorbikes plying the routes of FBC. While noting that many members of staff and Board of NRA are products of FBC, he thanked the Authority for its interest in FBC and promised that the bus will be managed properly and used for its intended purpose.