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09.01.2007 Business & Finance

Assemblies to source funds through Stock Exchange

By The Heritage
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Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) are to be helped in sourcing funds through the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Long-term bonds, among others, will be issued to generate funds for consistency in local governance, the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has announced.

He explained that the introduction of the long-term bonds would serve as a lifeline for the assemblies anytime the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) delayed.

“Consequently, the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), with support from Databank, is to launch a pilot programme to raise funds for the market,” Mr Asamoah-Boateng said, adding that if that method of revenue mobilisation succeeded, it would be replicated in other MMDAs.

Sharing his views on, “Revenue Mobilisation and MMDAs: Broadening The Base With The Use of New Technologies and Innovation”, at the 58th Annual New Year School at the University of Ghana, Legon, Mr Asamoah-Boateng said investor confidence in the economy had made that option possible for revenue mobilisation at the local level.

He said with money raised from the stock market, MMDAs could carry out their work and not suspend it because there were no funds.

The minister said other non-traditional areas of revenue generation being explored included fines from traffic offences, car park charges and the commercialisation of waste management.

The ministry, he said, was collaborating with the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in all those areas.

Delving into the use of new technologies in the revenue broadening process, Mr Asamoah-Boateng used a triangle to illustrate how, together with human resource development and sound financial management, the business of local governance and service delivery could be achieved.

Managing personnel and equipping them with knowledge and equipment were important in blocking leakage in revenue collection, Mr Asamoah-Boateng said, and cited the example of the handy General Pocket for Radio Service (GPRS) machines which were recently used to collect ¢3.3 billion in three weeks from some markets in Accra.

He added that the principle of broadening the revenue base through traditional and non-traditional methods was based on the rationale of delivering benefits with the revenue collected.

He was of the opinion that if refuse was collected regularly, municipal areas kept clean and other services provided on time, residents would be willing to honour their tax obligations and support initiatives by MMDAs in broadening their revenue base.

He said refuse collection and management were viable commercial and employment creation ventures and that was how the ministry was currently dealing with the challenge.

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