Most Local Government Authorities in Ghana are battling with several challenges pertaining to local revenue generation.
This situation has weakened the operation and management of many Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, leading to increasing loss of revenue. The situation is not different in the Techiman Municipality. For instance in 2013, the performance in revenue mobilisation during the year fell far below target as only a total amount of GH¢796,103.89 representing 50.17% of the Assembly targeted revenue of GH¢1,586,745.00 was mobilised as at the end of November, 2013.
It must be noted that the responsibility of the local government system cannot be executed successfully without the adequate funds. It is therefore imperative for local government bodies to adopt pragmatic and more efficient measures to increase their revenue mobilisation capacities and prudent financial management techniques to be able to execute such responsibilities.
At the meeting of the Fourth Session of the Sixth Assembly held in Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr. Philip Oppong Amponsah, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) outlined the measures intended to improve revenue mobilisation in the Municipality to enable him turn around the development challenges facing the Techiman Municipality, in particular, waste management.
The measures include building a database on all ratable items of the Assembly and identify all available sources of revenue to the Assembly, identifying skills gaps in revenue collectors and train them for effective performance, setting realistic targets for all revenue collectors and monitor their performance to ensure that targets set are achieved and reshuffling revenue collectors periodically to avoid over familiarity with rate payers.
The rest are to reward result-oriented revenue collectors to motivate them and to provide the needed logistics to collectors such as wellington boots, rain coats especially during the rainy season.
Before the introduction of these measures, the MCE had mandated the Information Services Department (ISD) in the Municipality to sensitise the general public on the need to pay the various rates and taxes in the Municipality since December last year. ASTA FM, a private Radio station in the Municipality was also engaged to assist in the publicity.
The station sensitised the public on its morning show programme known as "Kokrokoo". The radio station also played a number of occasions a jingle on its morning show programme produced by the Assembly, educating the public on the various rates and taxes, and the need for them to pay. Warning has also been sent to the general public through the sensitisation programmes of possible prosecution if some of them failed to pay the appropriate rates and taxes. To ensure effective implementation of these measures, the MCE has engaged the services of the Assembly Members of the various Electoral Areas to support Assembly. "I wish to crave the indulgence of all Hon. Members to supervise the collection of revenue from 2nd January to 2nd February 2014", he appealed. He noted that this was to help the Assembly assess the full potential of available revenue in a month to enable them set some realistic targets for their revenue collectors.
The MCE also took a bold decision and dissolved the old Revenue Supervisory Committee after being in office since 2010. He rather proposed the formation of new Revenue Supervisory Committee with the tasked of increasing the revenue collection by 100% for a commission of 20%. He warned that their inability to do so within three months should result in the termination of their appointment. "These initial measures aimed at putting a stop to the no money syndrome in the Assembly, he noted.
Mr. Kwasi Yeboah Asuama, the Presiding Member of the Assembly was very happy of the involvement of Assembly members to monitor the activities of the revenue collectors. He advised them to monitor and come out with observations regarding issuance of tickets and challenges facing the revenue collectors, for onwards submissions to the Assembly as recommendations.
Source: ISD (Imoro T. Ayibani)