• September 8, 2023

NRA Commissioner-General’s Tactical Moves

NRA Commissioner-General’s Tactical Moves
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The National Revenue Authority (NRA) Commissioner-General, Ibrahim Brima Swarray’s recent engagement with the Indigenous Importers Welfare Association and mining companies has been viewed by tax experts as highly tactical in harnessing revenue mobilization for national economic boost.


Tax pundits have attributed the moves by the Commissioner-General Swaray as a twin track approach, with revenue generation strategy taking the lead, whiles the other methodology remains hidden for obvious reasons best known to him.


The subtle manner in which the NRA Commissioner-General declared the purpose of the engagement with indigenous importers has been regarded by trade and tax experts as strategic.


‘I want to understand the business environment and to solicit your support in the revenue collection proceeds’, Commissioner-General Swarray.


Among other things said by the NRA Commissioner-General during his recent engagement with partners were his unwavering intention to review the Consignees operations and institute a complain box at custom.


The Consignees operations account for appreciable percentage of Sierra Leoneans making a living from register companies on the category of consignees.


Since NRA Commissioner-General Swaray let the cat out of the bag with regards reviewing Consignees Operations, fears continues to grip consignees operating at the  Queen Elizabeth Quay II and Custom, Cline Town, East end of Freetown.


According to some, they viewed the pronouncement made by the NRA Commissioner-General as a political witch hunt, as they identified themselves as citizens who hailed from the North and North West of the country dominating consignees operations at the port.


Information filtering into FORUM NEWS SL have it that the decision of the NRA Commissioner-General to review the said operation is for him to deliberately reduce the amount of some consignees operations that are far below the minimum standard requirement to embark on such operations.


This FORUM NEWS SL was intimated, is also geared towards redeeming the lost trust that has over the years engulf the National Revenue Authority and Custom.


Instances of missing properties in containers and barrels of clients have become repetitive regardless of the fact that those containers or barrels are assigned to a shipping agencies or a clearing and forwarding agencies.


Following several newspapers publications on Thursday 7 September, 2023 on the engagement of indigenous importers, challenges and recommendations by the indigenous importers were not captured by most publications, even though publications indicated that the recommendations were gear towards enhancing voluntary compliance.


Inside source at NRA headquarters on Wellington Street, Freetown last evening revealed that challenges highlighted by indigenous importers during the said engagement were better left unsaid because of its potential to expose excesses of so many government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.


In another development, the NRA Commissioner-General also interfaced with stakeholders of the mining sector.

‘I understand the need to create a solid business environment for investors to maximize profit, building such environment by the government should not erode the need for revenue generation’, said Ibrahim Brima Swarray.


In his appeal to mining companies to be considerate in their requests for concessions, Swarray said, ‘If a company is now big enough to operate without necessarily resorting to concessions, please spare the country’s revenue’.


Sierra Leone mining sector in return, requested their involvement in the draft and amendment of the country’s yearly Finance Act, which they noted has a lot of impact on their operations.

The mining sector also pinpointed at the unpredictability of the forex as a grave concern and emphasised the need for NRA be considering them in the popularisation of the country’s tax laws.

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