Broadening Tax Base: Gov't Moves To Formalise Sand, Gravel Sectors

MBOM Sixtus | 15-02-2018 05:59

 The Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development signed a convention February 9, to facilitate collection of taxes on exploitation of development minerals.

Government has signed a public-private partnership agreement with Migration SA that would facilitate the collection of taxes on the exploitation of non-transferable mineral substances such as sand, gravel, granite, laterite and pozzolan.

The contract was signed on Friday February 9 by the Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development, Ernest Gbwaboubou and Hon Issac Ngahane, Chief Executive Officer of Migration SA. Minister Gbwaboubou said the company will be in charge of formalization and standardization of the mineral sector, lifting it out of the informal to the formal.

According to Simon Essi, Director General of Migration SA, 90% of the actors in the sector are operating informally. This, he said, implies that the workers, especially those who dive into the rivers to exploit sand, are exposed to all sorts of insecurities; transactions are carried out in a haphazard manner as no specific measurements and quality standards had been laid down.

He also said government incurs losses of as much as FCFA 800 billion annually in the informal exploitation of development minerals. “Formalising and standardising the sector will prevent these losses and protect employees and citizens. You won’t be hearing that buildings are collapsing here and there if the quality of natural materials used were checked. We believe this agreement is a step in the right direction,” Simon Essi said.

Just before the contract was signed, Minister Gbwaboubou launched the use of a secured consignment note for transporters of development minerals- a document which will enable government, potential investors and companies operating in the sector to have reliable data on production and transactions in the sector.

The Consignment note will contain details on the sources of the minerals, the producer, the nature of the mineral, quality and quantity from source to delivery sites. It was said the document will among other things, enable government to determine the accuracy of tax declarations in the sector.

Officials of Migration SA said that going by the 2018 financial law, the tax allocated to exploitation of sand, laterite and other minerals is set at FCFA 200 per m3, while exploitation of gravel is taxed at FCFA 300 per m3.

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