The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA)’;s management, led by its Commissioner Sam Shivute, is in the Zambezi Region for the primary objective of assessing the viability of a one-stop border post at Katima Mulilo that will link Namibia to Zambia.
The regional visit also presents an opportunity for the revenue-collecting agency to explore ways of improving tax, customs and excise administration in the region, which has several entry points into the country.
Earlier in the week, the NamRA team paid a courtesy call on Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu, who stressed that borders are the mirrors of the country, and service delivery must thus be top-class. He observed that the one-stop border post concept being mooted at Katima Mulilo has the potential to enhance trade facilitation, as it will reduce the time spend in clearing goods at entry points.
Agreeing with the governor, Shivute explained that NamRA has prioritised quality service delivery, and that improved service delivery would become evident soon. He also highlighted the recruitment process which is in full swing, where the seconded staff from the previous Inland Revenue Department and the Directorate of Customs and Excise in the Ministry of Finance will have to be absorbed by NamRA, with the exercise expected to be concluded by September 2022.
The NamRA delegation also met Zambezi Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Marius Katamila, who stressed that his office was determined to maintain good relations with their Zambian counterparts to counter instances of illegal trade and other crimes taking place at the entry point connecting the two countries.
Shivute then indicated that the revenue agency will enhance enforcement like never before to mitigate the under-declaration and mis-classification of goods. He was optimistic that with enhanced and dedicated taxpayers’ education, the level of voluntary compliance would take a consistent upward trend, aided by greater appreciation of the obligation on taxpayers
The team further visited the massive cross-border project between Botswana and Zambia, which saw the construction of the Kazungula Bridge and the establishment of the one-stop border post on both ends of the border, manned by customs and immigration officials from the two countries.
NamRA has operations at Katima Mulilo, Ngoma, Kamenga and Impalila Island. The visit is part of the management’s familiarisation initiative to all the regional offices in the country.