The National Revenue Authority under the current leadership of the hardworking Commissioner General, Haja Kallah Kamara was established through an Act of Parliament, the NRA Act of 2002 with core mandate of assessing and collecting revenues on behalf of the government. It is also tasked with an addition responsibility, which is to facilitate trade, border control and management. Report states that this is why the revenue collection body modernized procedures and processes over the years in order to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in revenue collection.
Since the opening of the Gbalamuya Joint Border Post in 2012 and the establishment of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) in 2014, it has enabled customs officials of Guinea and Sierra Leone to operate under one roof and has significantly reduced the burden and time to transport goods.
Investigations conducted by the press states that the Gbalamuya Customs Post has contributed immensely over the years in raising trillions of Leones for the government.
Authorities at the Gbalamuya Customs Post informed this writer that the post which borders Guinea and Sierra Leone is a major trading hub for thousands of mainly female indigenous Sierra Leonean importers/exporters, and its importance should not be seen in merely statistical revenue terms, but of National Security importance. Smuggling has become one of the major impediments to the day to day activities of the trading hub, thereby affecting some aspects of the general operations of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) at Gbalamuya.
As one of the country’s third revenue port, it is still grappling with enormous challenges to meet its revenue target monthly.
The Preventive Service and Special Duty (PSSD) of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in their routine operations to clamp down on smugglers in that border part of the country has identified about sixty illegal cross points, which continues to record smuggling activities.
Reporting states that detractors bringing their goods from Guinea normally offload their goods at Pamalap to bypass customs, using one of the illegal routs to smuggle their goods to Sierra Leone.
Report commended that the PSSD staff stationed in Kambia for have enjoyed support from the people in combating smuggling. ‘The Preventive and Special Services Duty Officers are always patrolling most of these illegal crossing points’, report states, adding that smuggling activity is often done by commercial bike riders and drivers’ who are mostly Sierra Leoneans. This unpatriotic attitude has been the greatest undermining factor to revenue mobilization in that part of the country.
NRA Authorities have revealed that the Authority has been responding to the problem of inefficient border control through major reforms that have not only removed unnecessary barriers to legitimate trade, but also tackling smuggling and tax evasion.
It can be recalled quite recently, the NRA emerged as the best Government Department for 2015 according to the Office of the Chief of Staff annual Performance Contract ranking for 2015. For the past two years the NRA has been ranked in the second position behind the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). Although this is the first time the NRA in first position, observers present at the event are of the view that government Departments and Agencies headed by women have done remarkably well. Under the Managerial Matrix, NRA exceeded its Le2.17 trillion target in revenue collection in 2015. It also put in place strong anti-graft systems that were highly acclaimed by the Anti-Corruption Commission in its perception survey report.
2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul
The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th IPRA conference in Turkey, at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th IPRA conference in Istanbul to serve a second term of two years.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 20, 2017/ -- Four illegal fishing cases have been found during a joint surveillance mission conducted by Greenpeace (www.Greenpeace.org/Africa/en) and Sierra Leone fishery authorities. Two Chinese vessels and one Korean vessel have been arrested for infringements of Sierra Leone fishing legislation, including possessing or using illegal fishing nets on board, no visible marking and a lack of required paperwork, including log books and authorisation for unloading catch. Fishing authorities ordered the vessels to return to Freetown port for further investigation. A fourth vessel, owned by an Italian company, was found with four kilograms of shark fins on board. Though not illegal under Sierra Leonean laws, this is a clear violation of European Union (EU) fishing rules. This boat’s case will be taken further with relevant EU authorities.
In addition, more than 70 bags of shark carcasses were found on one of the Chinese vessels.
The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.
The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.
A NEW DAWN FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SIERRA LEONE, PARLIAMENT APPROVES MELRON NICOL-WILSON AS NEW OMBUDSMAN
The Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Mr Melron Nicol-Wilson as new Ombudsman, on Tuesday April 11, 2017. This follows him being named by H.E President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as the replacement to Justice Edmond Cowan - a long-standing legal icon, who now chairs the Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Committee.
A man whose action speaks louder than words, Mr Nicol-Wilson has been appointed as new Ombudsman for Sierra Leone, a position reserved for high-profile people, who are well-respected and with unblemished character. Mr Nicol-Wilson has the typical pedigree of an Ombudsman, best known both in Sierra Leone and internationally as a champion for justice and human rights.
The Parliament’s decision to approve Mr Nicol-Wilson was anticipated, as the high-profile human rights lawyer emerged unscathed from an exchange of views with Members of Parliament.
(The thoughts expressed in this article are purely and entirely the thoughts of the author)
Election in any democratic setting, include the enjoyment of those rights that will elicit the full participation of individuals in determining the political life of his/her country. An election is a decision making process through which eligible citizens(those who have reached the age of majority, 18 years and above and with sound mind) freely choose their leaders through the ballot box to hold public offices for a specified term.
Generally, people vote with the expectation that the office holders would represent their communitiesand or countries best interest. Elections are viewed as a central feature of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. Essentially, election is a testimony to peoples’ sovereignty and that ought to be respected and the process must be credible, otherwise there will be challenge with regards the acceptance of the result.
April 24th 2017: On the occasion of the 56th anniversary of Sierra Leone’s independence, Movement for Social Progress (MSP) had requested the Sierra Leone Police to provide the necessary security for a peaceful Alternative Peoples Independence Procession and Rally that was planned to coincide with the official celebrations. The procession was planned to start from Clock Tower to Brima Atouga Stadium in the East end of the city while the official events are scheduled to take place in the West end of the city.
In a meeting with senior members of the Sierra Leone Police at the SLP headquarters, on Monday 24th April attended by the Inspector General, Francis Munu, the Head of Police Operations, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Al-Sheikh Kamara, AIG Memuna Konteh Jalloh, AIG FUK Dabor, among others, the police top brass told members of MSP that they would not be able to provide security for the procession and rally.
The Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, informed the meeting that they were overstretched with covering the official events, the traditional masquerade (or Odele) parade as well as the Lantern Parade on the eve of Independence.
Sierra Leone has joined other countries in the world to commemorated World Malaria Day on the theme: “End Malaria For Good” with the slogan: “Sleep under a Mosquito net always” on Tuesday April 25, 2017 at the St. Anthony Parish hall Brookfields in Freetown.
Launching the World Malaria Day 2017, the Sierra Leone Malaria Indicator Survey 2016 Report and the Sierra Leone Malaria Business Plan 2016 -2018, the Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman said malaria continues to threaten more than half of the world’s population and presents an alarming threat to global development.
She informed her audience that as of 2016, an estimated 3.2 billion people, almost half of the world’s population in 97 countries and territories including Sierra Leone are at risk of being infected with malaria.
LAB wants transports to allocate seats to the blind
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has disclosed plans to launch a White Cane Campaign in the coming weeks.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles made the disclosure while addressing a cross section of the Waterloo Community including stakeholders at the District Council Hall on Monday, 24 April 2017 in a meeting to plan the launch of the Legal Aid Board in Waterloo in the WesternArea Rural District on 6 May 2017.
She noted that the campaign will seek to address the challenges faced by blind people in using public transport. ‘Blind people have been suffering in silence for far too long,’ she said. ‘They have been discriminated against because of their disability and this cannot be tolerated.’
Former elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana left Freetown International Airport, Lungi late afternoon Wednesday April 19, 2017 onboard Kenya Airways on an "Emergency Travel Certificate", en route to Abuja, Nigeria on or about April 23/24, 2017 for the hearing of his petition filed on October 24, 2016 in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, "seeking an enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights arising from his unconstitutional removal from office, and for further orders contained in the application."
"This matter has been set down for hearing by the Court for April 26, 2017."
According to a spokesman for the Sam Sumana family Matthias Bendu who was with Sam Sumana at the airport until the aircraft was airborne because of advanced information reaching the family that there would be some problem awaiting Sam Sumana at the airport, Matthias Bendu told this Writer on the cellphone from the airport that Sam Sumana "was detained by Immigration Officers at the airport for more than thirty minutes after the aircraft landed, and it was due to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Francis Munu who told the immigration Officers that Sam Sumana had not committed any crime and must be allowed to travel".