Cape Coast- Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Central Regional Minister, has tasked metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to endeavour to be innovative and explore more ways of enhancing their internally generated revenue.
He pointed out that there was the need for them to take advantage of the resource endowments in their localities through qualitative investments to create jobs, expand the local economy and ultimately increase revenue generation to aid development.
Mr Duncan made the call at the launch of a four-year revenue generation programme dubbed “Tax Revenue for Economic Enhancement” (TREE) aimed at stimulating performance of the Assemblies in internal revenue generation (IGF) for sustainable development at Cape Coast on Wednesday.
The launch of the TREE programme brought together budget officers, revenue officers, officials of the Ministry of Finance, financial analysts, traditional leaders and 32 selected MMDCEs from the Central, Ashanti, and Western Regions.
Mr Duncan said “Assemblies must explore more avenues and adopt creative schemes to improve their revenue, to facilitate the strengthening and sustenance of the local government system”.
That, he noted, was the way to bring local governance and fiscal decentralisation to all the corners of the nation to improve the well-being of the citizenry.
He lauded the Netherlands Government for sponsoring the project to enable the Assembly rake in more revenue and pledged his commitment to support them to achieve the intended target.
Mr Peter Jongkind, Director of the VNG International, implementing partners noted that the lack of the requisite data base was hindering increased revenue sources and if such data were developed and maintained among rate payers, their internally generated funds would improve considerably.
He pointed out that the lack of a well developed data base often resulted in assemblies over projecting their expected revenue, which most often left deficits in their accounts.
He also identified the lack of trained personnel, communication, logistics and incentives for collectors and tax evasion as some of the hindrances of revenue generation at the local level.
Mr Joseph Antwi, a Director at the Ministry of Finance who read a speech on behalf of the Minister of Finance, stressed the need for MMDAs to guard against misappropriation and misdirection of public fund.
He said the TREE programme which sought to increase revenue generation had come at an opportune time when the nation had recommitted itself to marshalling all efforts to develop Ghana beyond aid.
That, he noted would go a long way to reduce the over dependence on common funds to support development at the local level.
Source: Ghana News Agency