Manufactures decry heavy taxes levied by government

By Aminata Sanneh

This hinders the growth of local manufacturing industries in the Gambia

The heavy tax on local manufacturing companies in The Gambia is hampering the development of local industries says Saja Sambou Human Resource, Public Affairs and Communication Manager of Gambega company limited.
According to Mr Sambou manufacturers in the country are face with challenge of various taxes imposed on them. This has prompted other business men to engage importation and dumping of cheap goods into the country.

“The heavy taxes and competition from the importers is seriously affecting our performance in the Gambia. It is putting us out of business and killing the local industry,” he says.
For Mr Sambou the economy will not grow unless local manufacturers are protected. This he says can be done by subsidising local companies and cutting down the number of taxes levied. He added that local industries create employment for many people.

Unemployment to increase if…

“We create a lot of job opportunities for many people. And unless local manufacturers are protected they will not be able to provide more employment to the people,” he said.
He added that Import duties are very low compared to the taxes levied on producers. The cost of electricity is also high. This he says is responsible for local products being more expensive compared to imported products.

“Import duties are very low. Importers don’t encounter a lot of cost as we do. So they are able to put it into the market and sell it cheaply,” he said.

Mrs Natoma Camara said they are aware of the important role that taxes play in the development of the country government. But government should also look into ways of curbing the menace of growing numbers of new taxes as it is killing the local industries.

“I am not saying tax is not good, but let it be reduced for Gambian producers.How can we grow when new taxes are emerging everyday,” she asks.

Sighting his company  as an example Mrs Camara said they produce coose into different products, but the government is allowing people to imports coose coose from senegal and other countries. This according to him is seriously undermining the progress of local industries.

Government should stop importation of local products
She urged to the Government to come to their aid by stopping the importation of goods that are produced locally. Adding that attempts in the past have proof to be futile.

The World Bank report has ranked the Gambia as the 178 position in term of heavy. This according to findings has made it the sixth heaviest taxed country in the world and second in Africa. A raise in taxes can create deterrent to new investors to invest in business, as potential investors will be discouraged.

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