The Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has encouraged Business stakeholders to embrace the reforms at the National Revenue Authority (NRA). Dr. Jibao was speaking to a crowd of stakeholders at the Public Private Dialogue organized by the National Investment Board- Office of the Vice President, Tower Hill, Freetown on Tuesday 5th October, 2021. The meeting included the Association of Importers and Exporters, the indigenous Importers Association, Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Standards Bureau, Sierra Leone Local Content Agency, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, and other critical business stakeholders in Sierra Leone.
According to the Executive Director of the National Investment Board Prof. Maada Mustapha, the platform was created to discuss key issues affecting businesses, import and export in the country and proffering key recommendations for policy planning and development. He said they've had very fruitful discussions in the past and actions have already been made on certain recommendations they've highlighted.
When making his presentation, Dr. Samuel S. Jibao hinged on the end product of NRA's ITAS reform which is to facilitate registration, payment and filing of returns online. This he said will immensely minimize the compliance cost and reduce the inflow of taxpayers into NRA premises. Because of the deployment of these systems, the institution is issuing a new Taxpayer Identification number (TIN) to all taxpayers. This issuance of the new TIN would require Businesses to acquire a National Identification Number (NIN) which is a unique biometric identifier issued by the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA).
The discussion sessions covered issues on high taxation, fluctuating forex, the prolonged removal of GST on certain pharmaceutical products, the daunting customs clearance process, exportation challenges and Identification and organization of the informal sector. When responding to various concerns, Dr. Samuel S. Jibao on the high tax issue said Sierra Leone has some of the lowest rates in the region. As an institution, they are working with the Ministry of Finance to amend the anomaly on the GST on certain pharmaceutical products. Many of the participants were delighted to have had some valuable take aways from the dialogue, and follow-ups will be made by the National Investment Board.