Regional News of Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - A day's stakeholders' seminar on Urban Management Land Information System (UMLIS), which sought to develop a tool and strategies to contribute more efficiently in collection of municipal fees and effective urban management was held on Wednesday in Accra.
The UMLIS project, jointly funded by the Swedish International Development Fund Agency (SIDA) and Government of Ghana and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and being executed on pilot basis in the Ayawaso Sub Metropolitan area, was in its third and final year. The SIDA contributed about 1,766 million Dollars for technical support while the government and the AMA contributed 330,846 Dollars towards the project, being carried out by Swedesurvey AB, an International Consultant from Sweden, in collaboration with its local representatives in Ghana-Geo-Tech System Limited. The AMA would implement the project in co-operation with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE).
Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, Chief Executive of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), said urbanisation was becoming a complex problem for the assembly and it was important that proper urban management measures and strategies were put in place to deal with the situation.
He said UMLIS was a pay-back project that provided the platform for sound intervention for a number of urban endeavours. Mr. Blankson said the UMLIS would transform AMA's record management, billing, payment and accounting system for property rate especially.
He said the updated register would also enhance the Assembly's effectiveness to mobilize the necessary revenue to undertake development projects. Mr. Blankson said "I have said it time and over again that the AMA is seating on a gold mine, and we have no option but to exploit the gold for the development of Accra. It is my belief that UMLIS is an ingenuous initiative that would provide the necessary equipment to mine this gold of the city".
Alhaji Ahmed Yirimea Awudu, Deputy Minister of MLGRDE, said it was the hope that the UMLIS project succeeded for it to be extended to other districts and municipalities to relief the District Assembly's Common Fund.
He said the UMLIs would not only be beneficial to the assemblies but also private entities, land owners, land agencies, research institutions, security services, utility providers, bank and other financial institution and the public. Alhaji Awudu pledged the Ministry's preparedness to support AMA to achieve its goals to enhance its efficiency in revenue mobilisation and urged the assembly to confront challenges that might occur during the implementation of the project.