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Business News of Saturday, 19 June 2021

Source: GNA

Local Government Ministry to use CMD to enhance revenue collection

Dan Botwe, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Dan Botwe, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development intends to collaborate with stakeholders to automate its revenue mobilization using a Centralized Monitoring Dashboard (CMD) to enhance revenue collection.

The Ministry said the move would curb the huge cost in procuring systems for all individual Local Authorities and aid them to generate enough funds to exercise political and administrative authority as well as provide support to members in various districts.

Mr Rapheal Adu-Gyan, Principal Planning Officer at the Ministry, said this at a workshop in Accra on Domestic Revenue Mobilization on the theme, “Leveraging on Automation for Post COVID Reset of Local Economies.”

The workshop, organised by Foundation for Security Development in Africa (FOSDA) in collaboration with some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) was to deliberate on the automation of Internal Generated Funds (IGF) and how it could push the Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies to collect more revenue for development.

He said government was initiating structures to help in the collection and mobilization of domestic revenue for districts assemblies to increase their IGFs and reduce corruption in the system.

“The automation system cannot be manipulated and this will help District Assemblies to successfully execute their core mandates to the benefit of all,” he emphasised.

Mr Adu-Gyan explained that the CMD possessed a property status icon which gave demarcations per property within districts and also provided personal details of property owners, street names, phone number and the area of land of property.

The Principal Planning Officer said the system generated a Unique Property Number which was unique to every district and helped in facts checking by automatically calculating amount of revenue to be submitted by revenue collectors using data of total number of property within a district.

“The system exposes those who may choose to execute their work awfully because we have all the data and can easily track who is working and who is not,” he said.

Mr Adu-Gyan said the issuance of fee-fixing guidelines had been revisited to provide an upper limit for which various Assemblies were expected to levy rates.

“All CSOs should look out for what regulates an Assembly to be able to identify when an Assembly charges above its guidelines,” he stressed.

He said a Local Government Finance Bill would be developed to back the legalization of the financial administration of the system to ensure equality in revenue collection and mobilisation.

Mr Solomon Okai, Programmes Officer, FOSDA, said revenue collection, more often than not was difficult due to inability of field officials to account for revenues collected.

He said the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly was currently using USSD code *422*500# for revenue collection which increased the Assembly’s revenue by 50 per cent.

Mr Bright Sowu, Head of Programmes, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, said MMDAs should educate residents on the need to pay their taxes.

He urged all citizens to develop a strong demand driven social accountability at the local level to keep revenue collection and mobilisation officers on their toes to effectively run the affairs of the Assemblies.