Accra, March 16, GNA - Government has allocated 22 billion cedis to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to embark on house numbering and street naming exercise to step up revenue generation, Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, announced on Thursday. He said the exercise would involve a revaluation and re-numbering of all properties in the Metropolis to determine the appropriate property rates payable to the Assembly.
Mr Adjiri Blankson was speaking at a press conference to up date journalists on developments within the Assembly, its programmes and plans for the coming months. He said currently only 60 per cent of domestic property owners paid an average of 40,000 cedis to the Assembly, reflecting a gross undervaluation of revenue. He noted that the completion of the project would boost the revenue base of the Assembly and other institutions such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Banks and other financial institutions in the Metropolis. "The exercise would also help tourists and residents alike to find their route easily."
The Assembly, according to him, was exploring possibilities of establishing a commercial department. On the hawkers market at Odawna, Mr Adjiri Blankson said work would be completed in July to enable registered hawkers to occupy the market to ease congestion on the streets. "The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has in its custody the first and only list of hawkers that was compiled in 2005 by the street hawkers, Positive Traders Association and the United Traders Association. This list would be published in the media in due course as the sole occupants of the 3,000 stalls in the market," he said.
Mr Adjiri Blankson said the Assembly had not authorized anybody or group of persons to collect monies and register people on its behalf. "AMA will not countenance any mischief from any quarters"; he warned and advised those involved to refund monies collected to avoid any embarrassment. On indiscriminate posting of bills by event organizers, religious bodies and political parties, he said the act was not only an eyesore, but also defeated the efforts by AMA to keep the city clean. He called on individuals, religious bodies and event organizers, who had planted banners and posters to remove them before the next massive clean-up exercise, which falls on April 1, 2006.
Mr Adjiri Blankson cautioned recalcitrant people who would fail to comply with the order that their posters would be removed and they would be surcharged with the cost of the exercise. He said research by the Assembly had showed that the growing incidence of illegal temporary structures such as kiosks and metal containers were the major causes of indiscriminate disposal of both solid and liquid waste into drains, the rise in armed robbery, prostitution and drug peddling in the Metropolis. Mr Adjiri Blankson, therefore, called on all those who had erected such unauthorized structures to remove them before Easter. He said in the next two years, Ghana would hold several international events and the capital city needed to give a befitting impression.
Mr Adjiri Blankson also said the Assembly would from April 1 embark on an exercise to arrest all stray animals and their owners prosecuted under the byelaws. He said the Assembly had short-listed people for recruitment into the Metro Guards, which would eventually become the Metropolitan Police to check traffic and enforce other Metro Byelaws, while the Police concentrated on the criminal aspects of policing. "We are doing this with support from our sister city in Chicago, which has provided the logistics needed to enable the personnel to effectively enforce the byelaws of the Assembly," he said. AMA has instituted April 1, June 3, August 5, October 7 and December 7 as the next clean-up days in the Metropolis to keep the city clean.