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 "...Taxpayers Fault Brikama Area Council......"
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Posted - 28 Dec 2019 :  00:18:55  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is agreement on what the problem is , yes folks it's MONEY and the lack of it,the cause in this article in the Chronical newspaper gives both the Councils view and the views of others who disagree with the view held by the council,makes interesting reading and food for though,who do you think wins the arguement ?

Brikama, the administrative capital of the West Coast Region is increasingly becoming one of the fastest growing business hubs in The Gambia. The country’s second largest town also houses the Brikama Area Council (BAC) which is mandated to cover the entire region in terms of tax revenue collections for its more than 699,704 population.

As per the Local Government Act, councils are obliged to plough back 60 percent of revenues collected as tax through the initiation of development projects. But taxpayers of the Council have argued that they have realized a far lesser improvement on their lives and livelihoods due to ‘blatant corruption’ and ‘non-inclusivity’ that marred the Council’s operation.

“No development has been brought to us here. I can’t see any meaningful development created that I expected from the [Brikama Area] Council where I deserve more from. I deserve more because I am a taxpayer,” Bambo Sillah told The Chronicle.

He complained about the lack of proper sanitation and poor road conditions as key issues that continue to haunt their business progression at all times.

Nyima Sanneh, a resident of Brikama said the worst time is the rainy season. “We are completely disconnected from important places like the market anytime it rained. You don’t even know what to do because water is flooding everywhere,” she said.
Brikama Market in the rainy season

The Chronicle understands that Brikama Area Council has submitted its 2020 Budget to the Ministry of Local Government awaiting approval.

The President of Brikama Market Committee, Foday Manjang, acknowledges the state of discontent in the vendors due to the Council abysmal services.

“The fact is that people in the market are not happy with the way things are run by the [Brikama] Area Council this year 2019. What they expected on the level of development in the market, things did not go that way. We thought what would have made things easier for us did not happen. That’s why I said people in the market are not happy,” he said.

“We’ve been paying tax, duties and land rate. In fact, us at the committee level we do not compromise with vendors on that because we know a country is developed by tax. That’s why anyone who is not paying tax, it is necessary for us to take steps to ensure that the person pays.”

As the president of the committee, Manjang indicates that their stance is to serve as a link between the Area Council and the vendors as well as others businesses in the market. Last week, he recalled that a section of the market – about 30 canteen owners – approached him to say that they are not paying tax because of filthy water that streamed under their areas and was not addressed by the Council. According to him, the affected vendors continued their protest despite his advice that they should continue paying tax.

“We know that 60 percent should be given back to the community. But what is clear is that this is not happening,” he said.

He also accused some Council officials of collecting money from market vendors without receipts. According to him, he personally brought this to the attention of the Council, but no step has been taken. He believes that this is denying the progress of the Council’s efforts in bringing development.

He acknowledges the significance of stakeholder involvement in Council’s budget preparation. But according to him, this is not the case.

“…it will be important if they should be inviting us to be part of doing the budget. But we were never invited. Looking at the level of Brikama market, it should be like that, we should be aware of it.”

“But whether they invite us or not, two things are very important for them to consider – these include building good roads now as well as creating proper waterways. These are in a very bad condition. When it rains all the roads become unusable,” he explains.

He strongly suggested the need to have this work done now rather than waiting to hurriedly react on it in the summer.

The Secretary to the Market Committee, Bolong Jabang, said Brikama market vendors have been fully complying with their tax payment commitment to the Area Council. He clarified that the notion that people of the West Coast Region do not pay their taxes does not include his market.

“We always make sure that we pay and if there should be any problem let it come from them [Area Council]. We disagreed with the recent protesters [referring to some market vendors last week] who refused to pay taxes because of poor sanitation. We saw that as they have taken law into their own hands. We make sure everyone complies so that sixty percent of revenues collected is ploughed backed with us,” he said.

Abubacarr Darboe, a concerned youth in Brikama argues that the council has partially, if not totally, failed in all their development agendas including partnership with youth groups in 2019.

“When we assess the revenue base of this region, it alone should represent 1/3 of the total amount of revenue collected by all other council’s within the country,” he said.

He accused the Council of “blatant corruption and violation of the rights of the poor market and society vendors they are representing”.

“They also collect money from market vendors without receipts and collecting money from stall owners in the name of ‘salibo’,” he alleged. “In view of this, the Council becomes a liability rather than an asset to her people because they are unable to effect changes in the lives of our people in all aspects of development,” he told The Chronicle.

He states that the youths of the region have been disregarded, neglected and abandoned in terms of their development and decision making in spite of having a Youth Counselor as a representative in the Council.

“This negligence to youth was what emerged the ground for the people demonstrating against the Council,” said Darboe.

Darboe was the coordinator of #OccupyBrikamaAreaCouncil, a pressure group that staged a protest in July asking for a better service delivery by the Council. He said the protest paid dividends to the people. He acknowledges that the Council has later sponsored their environmental cleansing initiative to promote sanitation and health in the region following their protest.
Protesters came face to face with riot police during July protest demanding for better service delivery from BAC.

Jasong Sanyang, a civic education officer at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) said the Local Government Act is what makes it an obligation on the Councils to plough back a certain percentage of the revenue collection to bring developments to the communities.

“This prescribed 60 percent is there, it’s legally binding. So whether or not our local government councils are doing this, is a whole different thing. And I think it’s the job of the people to hold their elected representatives to account to ensure that this 60 percent is actually spent,” he said.

However, Jasong asks taxpayers to develop an interest in the affairs of the Councils by trying to find more information on matters that determine their development.

“Many people talk about this 60 percent or revenues, but many people also cannot tell what the 60 percent is ought to be or should be because our people are not concerned with what Area/Municipal councils are collecting.”

“Unless you know the amount of revenue collected by the councils, which is when you are going to know the 60 percent. If you don’t know the amount of money I have collected how would you know this is 60 percent of that money? The first thing the people demanding for the Councils to plough back is to ascertain how much money they have collected,” he told The Chronicle.

He challenges people to make efforts in accessing the information regarding the financial gains. “If you feel that a particular council is not doing what is expected, the first thing you should do as a union or a community is to first go to the area council and request for information on taxes. The law has empowered you to go there and seek such information. If they want to cover this information, they are violating the law,” he stated.

Contrary to the claims, the spokesperson of Brikama Area Council, Lamin Singhateh told The Chronicle that the year 2019 has been a responsive year to the needs and aspirations of taxpayers as dictated by the budget. However, he could not tell the exact allocation made to the development budget of the Council for 2019 while the 2020 budget has been submitted for review at the Ministry of Local Government and Lands.

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

Edited by - toubab1020 on 28 Dec 2019 00:20:33


9515 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2019 :  23:03:20  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Its feels good to see you posting Toubab.

There is lack of transparency at this council and many other institutions as usual.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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10244 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2020 :  21:03:45  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

WEll what a shock for some people accountability and transparency........hmmmmmmmm let's just hope that the hardware infrastructure associated with this project does not overheat and catch fire destroying all records.

The management of Brikama Area Council (BAC) has announced it will launch its first ever Digital Tax Management System on 7 January, 2020, at a local hotel in Kololi.

“The objective of the Digital Tax Management System is to maximize revenue collection and ensure transparency in collection,” the council said in a missive.

“This new Digital Tax Management System is a core product of the existing partnership between Brikama Area Council and 5C Energy (2019/2029).”

“FiveC (5C) energy is a Swiss-Based company duly registered in The Gambia. The company specialised in digital transformation solution, and will provide capability in maintaining the necessary service for the implementation of the Digital Tax Management System.”

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9515 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2020 :  12:52:00  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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10244 Posts

Posted - 09 Jan 2020 :  12:44:32  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is the latest addition to the tax collection from traders in the BAC area,training is VITAL simply because if tax collectors have not been sentised how to carry out the NEW system how can they do their work !!


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Brikama Area Council (BAC) has kicked off a two-day training for its revenue collectors on new Digital Tax Management System it has just introduced.

The training is underway at the West Coast Region governor’s office in Brikama.

The council’s management said the new system is meant to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of revenue collection.

Officials say that the transformation from analogue to digital tax management system will serve the council’s long term objective by ensuring transparency and accountability in its governance.

Chief Executive Officer Modou Jonga said the primary objective of the digitalisation was to ensure that the council maximises revenue collection in a transparent and effective manner. He added that the purpose of the convergence was to introduce the revenue collectors to the use of the new digital management system.

According to Mr. Jonga, this new digital tax management system is a product of the partnership that the council’s 5C energy The Gambia is Swiss based but registered in The Gambia. He also disclosed that the system will be launched on 7 January 2020 at Kairaba Beach Hotel.

“Today, we have started a two days training for our revenue collectors so that we can introduce them to the system and better build their skills and knowledge to become more responsive to the system.”

Mr. Jonga also said that the aim was to better enhance their understanding in proper collection and in using the digital tax system and also effective services delivery.

According to the CEO, the new system is paramount to their daily work and for the success of the entire system, it is important that the council introduce them to the system so that they can be well equipped with skills and technical knowhow to be able to operate the digital materials that should be used for the revenue collection which starts in 2020.

He said their aim was to maximise revenue collection in this new dispensation for effective and efficient services delivery as part of the commitment of the management of the council.

He declared that the management of BAC has committed itself to deliver services. “We want to build a very vibrant and responsive council. In order to do that, we will need collective and total commitment of all the key stakeholders.”

“This is a collective responsibility. We are committed to making West Coast Region more advanced.”

He said the region has the potential to be a model local government area. We are determined and committed to do that. We are just counting on the total cooperation of the public and tax payers to deliver result. We are very hopeful that the five years strategy plan provides a complete answer to the development needs of the region.”
Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10244 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2020 :  00:07:41  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Friday, January 10, 2020

The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Foni Brefet and former chairman of the Brikama Area Council (BAC), Hon. Sunkary Badjie, says the new digital tax system launched by BAC will greatly help in eliminating tax evasion, reduce corruption and maximise revenue collection for the council.

He added that the system will also help the council restore taxpayer confidence in the payment of rates and tax to the council.

“I think people need to cherish this new digital system that is out to promote effective, efficiency service delivery our communities.”

He also argued that the framework agreement marks a turning point in the history of BAC in terms of its revenue collection and data management.

He cited that the digitalised tax administrative system which seeks to replace the council’s old fashion tax administrative system has great potentials to maximse council revenue.

According to him, the tax system if implemented would also boost taxpayers confidence in the council and thus increase compliance, reduce tax administration cost, processing time and ease monitoring.

Hon. Badjie further pointed out that the tax system would not only boost compliance, but it will also improve the quality of tax payers’ information and minimise errors in financial transactions. This historic project, he said, comes with additional benefits which include the provision of working jackets and capacity building for the intended users as a prerequisite for sustainability and enhanced service delivery.

“I would urge the council to ensure the proper and efficient usage of the system to meet the reasons for which it is intended to enhance compliance. Encourage stakeholders and community participation,” he advised.
Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10244 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2020 :  17:37:34  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

LATEST, let's hope promises made THIS TIME are fullfilled in 2020 AT ALL LEVELS By EVERYONE.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Brikama Area Council BAC under its new Chief Executive Officer Modou Jonga has launched its first ever digital tax management system under the theme: Introducing Digital Tax Collection to Enhance National Development.

According to the council’s public relations officer, the project aims to ensure efficiency and transparency in tax collection process, improve confidence of the residents in the financial dealings of the council, thus avert tax fraud, evasion and corruption in the council’s tax collection processes.

In his welcome remarks deputy Governor of West Coast Region, Musa Suso, said migrating from manual to digital tax management system is a new efficient and digital transformation system for tax collection that enhances tax filings and reduces tax avoidance, evasion, corruption and tax fraud.

According to him, the project seeks to go digital, improve tax revenue and reduce tax processing cost, which, he said is the reason for the council to invest so heavily in it, saying it is a wise move and urge Brikama Area Council and 5c Energy Gambia Limited to see the project as a noble cause.

Chief Executive Officer Modou Jonga stated that the council needs adequate resources to become vibrant and responsive to the eeds and aspirations of the public, saying as such, they have to ensure the viability of its revenue sources, as it is the council’s fundamental duty.

“It is our major expectation that this system will maximize our revenue potentials, reduce the cost of tax compliance and drastically eliminate revenue leakages”.

Chairman Sheriffo Sonko said the launch of the digital tax management system is a fulfillment of key recommendation by the interim management committee of the council before he assumes office.

He said the council entered into partnership with 5c Energy Gambia Limited on the basis of Public Private Partnership and signed a framework agreement in 2019, with the objective to enhance the tax collection, accuracy and efficiency, as well as reduce tax evasion and guaranteeing transparency in the entire process of revenue generation.

He urged the region to take ownership of the project and be tax compliant to maximize revenue potentials that will immensely guarantee transformation of the region.

Sunkary Badgie, Member for Foni Berefet and erstwhile Chairman of the Council said if implemented, the digitalized tax system will boost tax payer’s confidence in the council and increase compliance, reduce tax administration cost, processing time and ease monitoring.

Samba Sowe, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of lands and regional governments said the event marks a turning point in the efforts to enhance effective revenue collection for the Brikama Area Council.

He said the project alongside with other development initiatives of the council will go a long way in strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of tax collection.
Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh

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

Edited by - toubab1020 on 13 Jan 2020 17:40:40
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Posted - 14 Jan 2020 :  17:53:21  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hope the council dues collected by BAC from Brikama Garage are included in the "digital tax management system " so that much needed improvement can be made to the piles of rubbish and rotting matter that exist on a daily basis, a few weeks ago an NGO engaged in improving health in the Gambia organised a clean up where many people who worked in the car park made a cleaning excercise which was effective but unfortunatly only for a few days when rubbish and rotten matter appeared again.


January 14, 2020

The Vice President of Brikama Road Coordination Transport Association Buba Sowe has expressed his dissatisfaction to the Brikama Area Council (BAC) for not playing their role as expected in the daily cleanliness of Brikama car park. He said every vehicle in the garage paid duties and tax annually.He spoke to the Daily News in an interview at his office in Brikama.
According to him the rubbish are being thrown indiscriminately forming heaps of cabbage within the jurisdiction of Brikama Area Council which should be collected on a daily basis. This he said is cause by the lack of dustbins that enable vendors, shopkeepers and drivers to liter on streets.
“The rubbish is even brought in the garage by the nearby compounds because they don’t want to pay private rubbish collectors for their rubbish to be transported to the dumping side.”
Sowe said the association has provided electricity for the people who is generating water for the people in the garage using three taps and toilets and every user is paying three dalasi which is used for maintenance.
He added that the association goes further to maintaining peace and discipline by organizing cleansing exercises as a way of their contribution to cleansing of the car park.
Also talking to this reporter are the market vendors of Brikama market who expressed sorrow to the Brikama Area Council as they don’t meet their demands. They added that council should be able to provide more vehicles and tractors for proper waste disposal.
They also said sometimes the waste will be packed in the market at different locations for a period of one week uncollected for disposal. These affect the life of the people both internally and externally because most of the food in the market are not covered properly which means they can be easily contaminated with diseases.

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