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Local Councils to Account for Millions

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Local Councils to Account for Millions

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 According to him, review of payment vouchers revealed withholding taxes which amounted to Le 97, 241,720.52 were deducted from the payments made to suppliers/contractors for goods and services.

 Mohamed Mustapha disclosed that NRA receipts which amounted to Le 71,846,214.96 were submitted for audit, leaving an outstanding of Le 25,395,505.56 as withholding tax deducted, but not paid to NRA. 

The Chairman, Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Hon Segepoh Solomon Thomas expressed  dismay over the lackadaisical   attitude displayed by certain workers in the local councils, noting that the National Revenue Authority (NRA) was established by an Act of Parliament to generate the much needed revenue for the country.

He ordered that the outstanding amount of Le 25,395,505.56 must be paid by the Bo District Council to NRA immediately.  

Hon. Francis Amara Kaisamba of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), also expressed similar opinion, pointing out that the government relies heavily on NRA to pay workers. 

 Hon. Musa Peter Moigua entreated the Chief Administrator of Bo District Council and team to do the right thing any comply with their tax obligation as mandated by law.

The deputy Chairman, Public Account Committee (PAC), Hon. Abdul Titus Kamara informed   the Chief Administrator that they will institute punitive measures against defaulters during the forthcoming public hearing.

 In her response, the chief administrator, Bo District Council, Juliana Amara assured members of the committee that they will do all they could to pay the outstanding amounts of money to NRA.

The committee probed the following councils: Pujehun District Council, Bonthe District Council, Bonthe Municipal Council, Bo City Council, Bo District Council and Moyamba District Council.

 However,   the following councils were referred to Freetown: Bonthe District Council, Bonthe Municipal Council and Pujehun District Council. 

The committee held similar public hearing at the Kenema District Hall where Kono District Council was found wanting for inconsistencies in withholding tax. According to the auditor of Audit Service Sierra Leone, Mohamed Abdulai, withholding taxes amounting to Le 46,441,449.82 were without evidence of payment.

He affirmed that further examinations revealed that only Le 44,593,449.82 out of Le 46,46,441,449.82 were deducted on payment vouchers whilst Le1,848,000 were not deducted for services.

In their respective responses, members of the Public Accounts Committee expressed similar views.

They noted with grave concern that certain councils have failed deliberately to comply with the withholding tax law.

A total number of five councils were queried namely: the Kenema District Council, Kono New Sembehun City Council, Kenema City Council, Kono District Council and Kailahun District council with certain anomalies discovered. The committee is in Makeni City probing other councils.

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