ActionAid Sierra Leone and the Network Support for Peace Education (NeSPE) hosted a pivotal advocacy conversation on revenue transparency and accountability at the Moyamba District Council Hall.

This one-day meeting brought together representatives from various ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) in collaboration with the Moyamba District Budget Advocacy Network (MoDBEAN) and other civil society organizations (CSOs).

The session underscored the crucial role of tax revenues in the operations of local councils and MDAs. ActionAid International and its strategic partner, NeSPE, emphasized that the effective use of tax funds enhances accountability and governance, leading to societal benefits. Decisions on tax reform are integral to the sustainable development of local communities.

Mr. James Caulker, District Programme Officer for ActionAid Sierra Leone, provided an overview of the meeting’s objectives. He highlighted the importance of optimizing revenue generation for the District Council and the fourteen chiefdom administrations. “Effective revenue transparency and accountability are vital for the sustained growth of Moyamba District,” Caulker stated, urging stakeholders to contribute their insights to the discussion.

Mr. Paul Jusu, the Valuation Officer of Moyamba District Council, expressed gratitude to ActionAid and NeSPE for their support in mobilizing funds through the Moyamba District Budget Advocacy Network. He emphasized the need for local businesses to comply with tax obligations to meet the high expectations for service delivery. “The council must not rely solely on precepts paid by mining companies. Business licenses, taxes, and property rates are essential for revenue mobilization,” Jusu added.

Honorable Joseph N. Kaindoh, the facilitator and representative of COPAT, shared his organization’s experience in tax justice and mobilization projects. He pointed out the challenges in implementing the agreement between the council and chiefdom administrations for collective revenue collection. “We need to revisit the agreement to address compliance issues and strengthen its implementation,” Kaindoh remarked.

The meeting concluded with the development of key action points, including:

Reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding between the District Council and the Chiefdom Administration.
Enhancing accountability and transparency in revenue mobilization.
Collaborating with CSOs to increase revenue collection efforts.

Participants provided numerous contributions, suggestions, and recommendations aimed at improving revenue transparency and accountability in Moyamba District. ActionAid and NeSPE reaffirmed their commitment to supporting these initiatives, drawing on successful revenue mobilization experiences from other districts like Kambia.