Stating the purpose of the visit to Gbamgbantor Commissioner Tennyson Bio called on the people to support the government by paying the correct tax for goods imported and exported, and he went on to appeal to the people to join NRA in a bid to minimise or prevent smuggling, stating that the institution cannot be in every place at the same time because of limited manpower.
He added “The government is loosing a lot as a result of smuggling; the tax money is what the government is using to undertake development projects. So please report any smuggle activity you are aware of, that will be support for President Bio government to develop this country.”
Tennyson Bio confirmed that the visit is prompted by the report of regular economic activities in the chiefdom but having low revenue generation output. He therefore called for the corporation of the people in revenue mobilization for the development of the District and the country as a whole.
He ended his opening remarks by appealing to the people of Gbangbatoke to see themselves as customs officer by helping their government to generate more revenue that would be used for development for the benefit of everyone and children’s health and education. “It is through the revenue generated government has been increasing salary and providing uniforms for our security personnel and many other good things for the country.” Tennyson Bio added.
Speaking, the acting Paramount chief of Lowe Banta Joseph M. Foday applauded NRA for such a laudable venture to involve the people in the process of tax collection, and promised that never again should the chiefdom engage in any smuggle activities that will deprive the country of generating huge revenue from trading activities.
The Moyamba District Council Chairman, Joseph Mbogba stated that President Bio is working on closing all leakages and that smuggle is one major one that take away a lot from this country, pointing out that it will only benefit a few selfish people while the nation as a whole suffer. He encouraged the people of Gbangbatoke to help government to put an end to smuggle in their community for the progress and growth of the country.
“It’s through tax that a country can be developed, if England, America and other great nations can do it Sierra Leone can also do it with the corporation of the people in a bid to mitigate smuggle in Gbangbatoke wharf.” Joseph Mbogba.
Harbour Master of Gbangbatoke wharf, Albert Campbell expressed excitement over such engagement and called on NRA to provide vessel that be used for monitoring by maritime police. He disclosed that most of the boats coming from Guinea always came in empty, pointing out that they offloaded along the line before coming just to avoid paying the correct tax. “But with vessel to ply the sea smuggle will minimise.” He said.
A resident David Conteh said there are lots of illegal activities that is ongoing and that NRA needs to have a robust mechanism in place, stating that the government can make up to three million leones a day in the Gbangbatoke community. ” Every week this country is loosing a lot and the government should do all they can to tackle smuggling because two trailers each carrying 600 bags of gari depart for Guinea every week and also boat carrying onions, bikes and other items landed at the Gbangbatoke wharf.” David Conteh disclosed.
He expressed strong belief that this engagement will put fear in the minds of smugglers to be paying their taxes and reiterated that the meeting has demonstrated that NRA is alive and now ready to work with the community stakeholders to tackle smuggling.
Inspector Massaquoi a maritime police called for community corporation confirming that they cannot do it all by themselves and pleaded with the people to own the process of tax collection for the purpose of economic growth of the country.
The engagement brought together members of the drivers Union, Traders Union, Bike Riders, Boat owners, and many other local authorities as they concluded with mutual agreement of owning the process of tax collection in a bid to promote each and every president Bio development agenda.