Top officials of the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) today had an engagement with stakeholders in Oshana most of whom were business people.
The NamRA team led by the agency’s Commissioner Mr Sam Shivute spent three hours at the Oshakati Town Council chamber which was packed to the rafters with business people wanting to hear from NamRA as much as NamRA wanted to hear from them.
NamRA’s Commissioner Sam Shivute asked business people to look at NamRA as a partner in the development of the country and not an institution that should be feared.
“We are not monsters, we are here to work for the Namibians. We know the economic challenges that this country has faced, so we want our country to prosper,” said Mr Shivute.
Shivute further stated that business people and other taxpayers should visit the offices of NamRA so that difficulties they are having in meeting their tax obligations would be discussed for mutual benefit.
“At NamRA we don’t want a business to die as a result of tax obligations. We want businesses to be successful. If more businesses are operating, that means less unemployment and more prosperity for the Namibian nation.
“But if you are there and not engaging us, the law will be applied.
“And if you steal from government, if you commit fraud or engage in tax evasion, then obviously that is a criminal act, and a criminal has to be dealt with like a criminal.”
A country whose state revenue collection is weak, Shivute said, would not be able to meet its social obligations to the nation. This is why NamRA was established in April 2021 to be an effective and serious revenue collector on behalf of the government.
Business people also had time to express themselves about their experiences with NamRA services and give suggestions on what NamRA must consider and implement.
Mr Kanu Amadhila, the deputy president of NALOBA, said that local business people have no problem with NamRA doing its job to collect revenue from them.
“But foreigners are on honeymoon, what is NamRA doing about them?” Amadhila said. “Billions of dollars is shipped out of this country every year, tax free, while NamRA is after our pensioners who are owing NamRA as little as N$4000. What is that?”
Mr Remind Ekandjo suggested that NamRA should consider putting in place arrangements whereby VAT would be paid directly to NamRA by consumers so that businesses would no longer be in a position to use this (NamRA money) for their own operations.
Ms Veronica Haikali asked why it took so long, as much as five months, for NamRA to refund transfer duties when the transaction on a property has been cancelled.
In the end the Governor of Oshana Mr Elia Irimari thanked NamRA officials for responding to his request for this engagement.
In the photo: NamRA’s commissioner Mr Sam Shivute speaking at the engagement meeting with Oshana business people.