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 Politics: Gambian politics
 GID announces new scheme for ID, residential cards
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Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  16:37:41  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Gambia Immigration Department (GID) last week announced a new scheme for national Identification cards and new financial costing of residential cards.

Following the change of government in 2016, the government of Adama Barrow put an embargo on the issuing of the old ID cards and in 2018, SEMPLEX Company was contracted to produce the new biometric ID cards, passport and other national identification documents.

Olimatou Jammeh, Gambia Immigration Department Commissioner for documentation said as part of the contract, SEMPLEX is also assigned with the printing of residential permits, alien cards and non-Gambian ID cards.

“GID has rolled out new financial costing for certain resident permits such as resident permit A- at D1, 850, resident permit B- ECOWAS D1, 850, resident permit B-NON-ECOWAS D3, 100, alien card D1, 600 and non-Gambian ID card which is normally paid by Senegalese is D650.”

She said in January 2018, the immigration department issued 138,764 of national Identification cards in which 137 applicants were rejected because they were not qualified Gambians and in 2019, 1, 916 applicants were referred to bring more supporting documents to be able to secure a national identification card.

According to her, thirty-two thousand, one hundred and twenty-seven passport readable machines were issued to the immigration by Gambians in the Diaspora out of which 271 were referrals and the number of biometric passports issued was 30, 882 and 152 were referral and 10 rejected.

“The Immigration has prosecuted 12 cases due to false documents, including six Sierra Leoneans, one Guinean and 5 Gambians,” she said.

Commissioner Jammeh further explained that twenty-four Gambians who fraudulently obtained Gambian documents, were made to pay resident permits and forty other nationals who claimed to be Senegalese in order to evade payment of resident permits.

According to her, the immigration department is facing challenges of escorts and false declaration by Gambians and fictitious birth certificates.
Author: Fatou Dem

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.


10321 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2020 :  10:48:51  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ndey Sowe February 5, 2020

Superintendent Mamanding S. Dibba, the spokesperson of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), has called on the public especially non-citizens, to come forward and regularize their immigration status with his Department.

The GID spokesperson made these remarks during a press briefing at Immigration headquarters in Banjul recently.

According to Superintendent Dibba, they are confident that their services are accessible everywhere in the country with the start of their new scheme.

He urged the general public to move to their enrollment centers within the regions of the country to get their documents and not to wait for GID officers to meet them in the streets or elsewhere and asked them; that from now to April 2020, they will be out in public places within the country, to enforce immigration regulations.

Olimatou Jammeh, Commissioner in charge of Processing at the GID said there is a new Scheme of IDs which was rolled out since the 6th of January 2020, for both citizens and non-citizens alike; that the Government of the Gambia has signed a contract with Semlex Company in 2018, to issue residence permits, aliens and other non-Gambian ID cards which were manually issued before; that the operations of this Company started since October 2018.

Commissioner Jammeh said as part of their contract, Semlex is assigned to issue residential permits and other ID documents for Gambians and non-Gambians alike, under this new scheme.

“The new scheme has come up to co-opt the issue of manual issuance of residential permits and we will like to share with the general public the new tariffs given for the acquisition of these documents,” she concludes.
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10321 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2020 :  09:50:08  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
uesday, February 11, 2020

Semlex, a Belgian company that has been contracted by The Gambia government to issue national identity cards has been temporarily closed down by The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) for tax evasion despite government’s tax exemption.

The crime contravenes section 215 of the Income and Value Added Tax Act, according to GRA officials. The company was shut down in early hours of Monday.

The temporal closure of Semlex will last for a period of three weeks as prescribed by tax laws in The Gambia. During this period, the company is expected to discuss how to regularise its status with the GRA.

A person familiar with the matter at Semlex Company who wished to remain anonymous told The Point that part of the contract Semlex has with the government spells out that the company is exempted from paying taxes.

Our source said: “Part of our contract is that the government shall issue Semlex with a Special Investment Certificate (SIC). The government shall not deduct any withholding tax at source on the transfer out of the Republic of The Gambia of any income deriving from the execution of the project.”

Our source further added that on the contract, clause 7.4. indicates that “Semlex shall be exempted from paying any custom duties for taxes on equipment, machinery accessories, materials or supplies (including motor vehicles) imported temporarily or permanently into the Republic of The Gambia for purposes related to the design, building, maintenance and operation of the infrastructure and the project.”

It further indicated in clause 7.5. that to facilitate such imported during the contract period, “list of exempted inputs shall be submitted by Semlex for approval by the Ministry of Finance.

At a Monday press briefing at GRA, Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe told journalists that they have been consulting and engaging Semlex management many times to pay their taxes but to no avail. “In fact they don’t even attempt to suggest for payment plan,” he claimed, adding since GRA is mandated by government to collect taxes, Semlex must pay their taxes.

The GRA boss dismissed claims that Semlex has a Special Investment Certificate (SIC) – a certificate that exempts a company from not paying tax.

He thus argued that if that was really case, they would have tendered it before the company was closed.

He noted it is not GRA’s wish to close down companies, but adds that companies have to also understand and must fulfill their tax obligation. He said GRA does embark on lot of engagements and consultations before closing down any company.

He added that currently negotiations are on -going and if there is any improvement or arrangement the public would be informed.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10321 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2020 :  10:04:03  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is the POINT'S Article.

By Omar Bah

The Gambia Revenue Authority has shut down the Kanifing office complex of Semlex for failing to pay tax since establishment two years ago.

The Belgian company and its Gambian subsidiary have been contracted by The Gambia government to produce the national ID cards and driver’s licences.
Yankuba Darboe, the commissioner general of the GRA defended the closure at a press conference yesterday, arguing that paying tax is an obligation and that Semlex has “pushed [them] to the wall”.

However, despite repeated questions from journalists, CG Darboe and the top GRA brass refused to disclose Semlex’s tax liabilities, citing “tax payer confidentiality”.

He explained: “The impression they gave us was that they will have a Special Investment Certificate that will exempt them from paying corporate and other taxes… We gave them extension after extension but up to this period, they could not provide us with the SIC.
“As far as we know in this country, it is only the president who can exempt a certain individual or business from paying tax. Other than that, you have to get the Special Investment Certificate which is a duty wavier.

“They have really pushed us to the wall. They have to respect the law. Nobody is above the law. We told them as they could not get an SIC, they should come forward and pay. We cannot continue with extensions and I believe, now it’s time to take action because we know that there is a law in the country and nobody is above the law and we should all respect the law,” he argued.

He said Semlex might in fact have failed to meet all the criteria to be given the Special Investment Certificate.

“If they had met the criteria, they would have got the certificate a long time ago,” he said.
He said the best thing Semlex could do is to settle its taxes or come up with a payment plan.

Meanwhile, Essa Jallow, the assistant commissioner general, pointed out that Semlex was not giving charity to Gambians. “They are here because they feel their investment will give them something. Before they came here,were getting our documents from another company. So, they are here for their own interest.”

At the end of the presser, the permanent secretary at the Ministry for the Interior, the director general of immigration and officials from Semlex met with the GRA heads to chart a way out of the debacle.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10321 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2020 :  22:16:18  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Lamin Cham on February 12, 2020

The national ID and driver’s licences production company, Semlex, which was shut by the tax authority over liabilities, has paid and resumed work yesterday afternoon.
A source at the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) confirmed yesterday that “Semlex has taken a positive step towards satisfying its tax obligations”. The source however, declined to give further details.

The company was allowed to continue producing ID cards and other national documents following the change of government in 2017 despite concerns from many quarters about its credibility.
Semlex’s initial contract was unceremoniously ended by former president Jammeh.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10321 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2020 :  09:17:57  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Semlex to reopen today after paying D400,000 tax arrears


By Mustapha Jallow on February 12, 2020

Mr. Yankuba Darboe, the Commissioner General of The Gambia
Revenue Authority (GRA), has on 11th February 2020, confirmed to Foroyaa that Semlex has been allowed to resume operations today after they made the full payment of tax arrears.

According to him the Belgian company had paid D400,000 (four hundred thousand dalasis) (about $8000) to GRA, yesterday afternoon.

He remarked: “Yes, I can confirm to you that they have made the payment this afternoon and I’ve sent my staff to go and reopen the place.”

During a visit to the company’s office in Kanifing on the same day, it was noticed that all the security agents who were stationed at Semlex’s building were withdrawn.

A security-guard at the company told this paper that everything has returned to
normal and they will resume operation today morning.

Several attempts to speak to Semlex officials were unsuccessful as they were in a closed door meeting.

However, Semlex, the Gambia’s biometric ID card and driver’s licences producer, was shut down after personnel of the GRA stormed the building and asked them to cease operations on 10th February.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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