The Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has paid a one day working visit to the people of Kenema city. Addressing hundreds of residents at the Holy Trinity parish hall along Blama road in the city. The Commissioner General Alieu Sesay told his audience that the function of NRA is to collect revenue and he therefore encouraged the taxpayers to fully comply.
He said he is in Kenema to find out about problems associated with tax collection but not to make changes. He disclosed that very soon NRA will be undertaking a survey and that all complaints will be treated seriously and there will be suggestion boxes placed at strategic locations for the public to participate by providing information.
Commissioner Sesay said that the people of this country do not have the culture of paying taxes and he therefore encourage all to be paying their taxes so that the country will develop.
He disclosed that his office is going all out to build the capacity of his staff in order to enable them collect tax and called on them to be transparent in their dealings, while also appealing to his staff to uphold their integrity to the highest degree to the public.
He said a policy document will be made available to all staff and if any staff is found wanting he or she would be dealt with according to the law of the state. He explained how taxes are levied based on what is brought into the country. He said defaulters would be sent to jail or fined according to the type of crime committed.
In his contribution the Chairman of the Lebanese committee in Kenema Alhaji Alie Hassan suggested to the Commissioner to equip his staff, and for NRA to be producing quarterly magazine about their operations, to have their own NRA building in the provincial headquarters, and for the NRA to be holding weekly radio programme involving the public and above all the public wants to see NRA credible staff at all times.
The chairman of the Indigenous Importers Association Thomas Bayoh said when Koindu was operating in the Kailahun district, traders from other countries were buying goods from Sierra Leone, which was giving revenue to the state. He appealed to NRA to be giving constant education as to why it is necessary to pay tax and the benefit.