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General News of Thursday, 14 January 1999

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KMA asked to come out revenue data

Kumasi, (Ashanti Region) 14 Jan. '99,

Mr Kojo Yankah, Ashanti Regional Minister, has asked the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, to come out with a reliable data on annual revenue estimates. KMA should also to identify other revenue sources and strengthen its revenue collection base to finance more development. Addressing an emergency meeting of the assembly in Kumasi yesterday Mr Yankah said in October, 1998, KMA targeted about 10 billion cedis revenue but realised only 4.9 billion cedis representing 49 per cent of the revenue expected from traditional sources. He noted that while the assembly is not meeting its revenue targets, it made excess expenditure in areas such as entertainment and donations and said ''this is irregular and unacceptable''. The Regional Minister expressed concern about undue delays in the processing and award of contracts and said this leads to unsatisfactory work on projects for which funding have been approved. He complained about the slow utilisation of common fund allocations and delays in payment for contracts duly executed and said ''some contracts executed as far back as 1995 have not be paid'' and directed that all sub-district structures should be inaugurated by February 16, 1999, to lessen the work on the assembly. Mr Yankah described the dumping of liquid waste into the Subin river ''as disturbing and unacceptable'' and directed the assembly to start using its new disposal site by the end of this month. The Kumasi Planning Committee will soon meet to discuss and develop a strategy for the orderly development of the metropolis, he said adding that, ''the spectre of disorderly, haphazard and unauthorised structures and development in the metropolis is alarming". He said a regional clean-up and tree planting exercise will be launched on Wednesday, February 17, 1999, after which assembly members will be expected to sustain the campaign in their electoral areas. Assembly members and Members of Parliament should observe strictly the guidelines for the application of the MP's allocation of the assemblies common fund, he said. Assembly members should promote an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and harmony with the electorate to ensure peace and security in the region. "You need to develop the right relationships and act in such a way as to earn the confidence of the people in your electoral areas, among yourselves and the entire officials of the assembly," he added. Nana Akwasi Agyeman, Metropolitan Chief Executive, complained about the contravention of the guidelines on the utilisation of the MP's allocation of the common fund. He said some MPs unilaterally select projects to fund without consulting the assembly adding that this is affecting its development programme and called on the relevant organisations to assist the assembly's electrification programme.