Are Councils’ Operations affected by GRA takeover of Revenue Collection?

By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
Foroyaa has been receiving reports that the decision of the government
transferring the responsibility of collecting council revenues to the
Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) since 1 March 2015 is affecting theoperations of municipal and area councils throughout the country.
According to the complaints, this new development has resulted in
salary arrears for council workers, lack of fuel for cleansing or
garbage collection services, among other difficulties.
In order to establish the veracity or otherwise of these claims,
Foroyaa has been making several attempts to contact council
spokespersons to get their version but without success.
When Mr. Sandigie Njie, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of Banjul
City Council (BCC), was approached on the issue, and he told this reporter
that he was occupied but promised to call whenever he is ready to
discuss the matters concerning the council with the media.
Mrs. Fatoumatta Sillah, the PRO of the Kanifing Municipal Council
(KMC), who earlier said she was busy, asked this reporter to go to her
office yesterday. However, the interview could not materialise as the
reporter waited for her until closing time.
An earlier attempt to have an interview on the issue with the PRO of
the Brikama Area Council (BAC) was also unsuccessful as he declined to
comment on it.
However, comments are being made on a daily basis concerning the implications of
the decision on the services that are supposed to be rendered by the
councils to their respective communities under their jurisdiction.