By Sahr Eric George
Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Honourable Aaron Koroma the Deputy Leader of the All People’s Congress party (APC) representing Port Loko District has advised parliament to link the three per cent funds from the government’s annual budget to the National Revenue Authority (NRA) to their annual performance in revenue collection.
The honourable opposition leader made this statement when parliament was approving the new NRA Commissioner Mrs. Jeneba Jane Bangura among ten other Presidential nominees on Wednesday.
“If they perform well and meet their target, then they should be entitled to the 3% that goes to them annually and if not, it should be withheld,” Hon. Koroma advised.
He pointed to the annual budget hearing this year, when parliament discovered that NRA budgeted an amount of 15 billion Leones but only raised 10 billion Leones, which means NRA did not meet their target.
Equally so, Hon. Mariama Bangura of the APC representing the Western area Urban District pointed out to Mrs Bangura the fact that the business sector who are the biggest revenue givers need someone who will encourage and bring them closer to the government so that they will be at ease to pay their taxes.
“The business people depend on you to bring them closer to the government through your office,”
The honourable Lady said the NRA is the lifeblood of the nation and thus needs someone with the experience and knowledge of Mrs. Bangura who is now the new boss. She advised the new NRA boss to maintain her good and exemplary attitude to change the bad things happening at the office and make all the women proud.
Adding his voice to the debate on NRA, Hon. Quinton Konneh of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) representing Kailahun District emphasized the fact that the nation depends on NRA for more revenue collection now that Mrs. Bangura is the Commissioner.
“Go and sanitize that place, you already know the challenges going on there,”
“We want you to collect more revenue than ever before but that place is highly evil with some toxic staff you must handle,” Hon. Konneh stated.
Meanwhile Hon. Bashiru Silikie deputy leader 1 of (SLPP) representing Bo District counselled Madam Bangura to create a good working relationship among her staff and make them feel accepted and fairly treated.
“The deputies are not inferior to us, but they are there to be supporters to leadership,”
“Treat all your staff fairly just the same way you wished to be treated when you were the deputy,” the deputy leader said.
He asked Mrs. Bangura to take all her qualities of humility and results getting to her new position and make the president proud for appointing her.
Hon. Catharine Zainab Tarawally of the APC asked Mrs. Bangura to remain calm in her new office as Commissioner of NRA and that she should not use her new position for revenge, rather she must remain focused on what she was appointed to do as Commissioner.
Similarly, Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay of the SLPP representing Moyamba District advised Mrs Bangura to maintain a good working relationship with her staff and create good teamwork among them.
“Do your best to maintain very good teamwork with all your staff for you to be able to improve NRA,” she advised.
Hon. Abdul Kargbo the leader of APC in parliament encouraged the new NRA boss to treat all her workers fairly and equally if she wants to succeed as Commissioner.
“If you don’t make your workers feel belong and are fairly treated, they will perform poorly and it is you who will have to bear the greatest consequences,” Hon. Kargbo warned.
He cautioned Mrs Bangura not to allow sentiments because of favouritism or political connections to interfere with her job as she will not be serving the SLPP, but she will be serving the entire people of Sierra Leone.
In concluding the debate, Hon. Matthew Sahr Nyuma the leader of government business in parliament mentioned that many things have gone wrong at the NRA office and called on Mrs. Bangura to do her best to correct all those wrongs and make them right again.
“You cannot say you will not do anything to change the many things that have gone wrong there, but make sure that you use the lawful means in doing so,” Hon. Nyuma advised.
He encouraged Mrs Bangura to be diligent in performing her duties as the commissioner and that she must respect the laws binding her office. He asked the new NRA boss to continue her good relationship with the House of Parliament which she has mentioned in the past. SEG/22/12/2023