By Muhammed Sailu Bah
Mayor Abdoulie Bah has confirmed to this reporter that the councils has now gone back to their old system of collection of Rents, Rate, Duties and License.
This he said was finally handed over to the Banjul City Council effect from Tuesday 9 June 2015. He said this during an interview with this reporter on Wednesday 10 June 2015.Asked about the impact of the new system that was introduced to them, Mayor Bah said that the system was very normal to him because he believes that it was a mechanism that was brought to help in regulating council’s operations. Mayor Bah also said there were few challenges with the system.
”Some of our street cleaners left because of the delay in receiving their salaries. Most of them decided to find other Jobs. Another constraint was a delay in the response in receiving Funds for daily operational cost,” Mayor Bah explained.
He said that the council in many cases responded to the needs of the people of Banjul on their social events, such as religious gathering among other things. The Mayor said people would have social events and would come to the council for help, on rental of Chairs, Tents and other things, and under the scheme introduced they were not able to respond to peoples’ needs. He further said that he had to resort to using his own money to help people in their social activities as their leader.
Mayor Bah disclosed that the Community thinks that it is a mandate to sponsor their social events, but it is not mandatory; “the council is just doing it to help”.
Mayor Bah citing the advantage of the council collecting rents and rates among other things said it will really help them in responding to their daily operations as well as to pay salaries on time in order to avoid the staff leaving their jobs.
In conclusion Mayor Bah thanked the government for their timely consideration and response to the needs of the council.
Readers would recall the collection of council revenue was taken over when a letter from the Ministry of Lands and Regional Administration, informed all councils that with effect from 1 March 2015 the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) will be responsible for the collection of all revenues on behalf of the councils without exception.