The Finance Office of the Birim Central Municipal Assembly has aimed at exceeding its revenue target of 353,800
Ghana Cedis set for 2009 fiscal year, Mr. William Ompong-Kwaku, Birim Central Municipal Finance Officer (MFO), has stated.
He said the assembly adopted a pragmatic approach to data collection
and as a result, collected 257,134 Ghana Cedis, representing 98 per cent of
its 2008 budget.
Mr. Ompong-Kwaku was addressing a two-day workshop, planned for 95 permanent revenue staff and revenue collectors from the municipal assembly, included some accounts staff at Akim Oda in the Eastern Region.
The course was aimed at emphasizing strategies and techniques required
for the staff to understand the working system and to ensure institutional
growth, development and attainment of objectives for the benefit of the municipal economy in particular and the Ghanaian economy in general.
At the end of the course, participants would be expected to analyse
and interpret their financial statements, understand the need to generate
more revenue and also to distinguish between their values, ethical and
unethical behaviours, among others.
The MFO noted: “If we are able to set targets for revenue collectors
and monitor their targets against their performances and to train the
collectors in the proper way of collecting taxes, recording and accounting
for monies collected, revenue collection would be improved”.
He said the deepening and broadening of the financial sector of the Ghanaian economy required financial literacy on the part of investors in money market instruments, as well as collectors.
Mr. Ompong-Kwaku disclosed that the collectors would be provided with uniforms and identification cards as a motivation and also protect them when necessary.
Mr. Victor Dumor, Eastern Regional Controller of Accountant General, commended the Finance Office of the assembly, organizers of the programme, saying it was the first of its kind in the region and therefore, used the occasion to advise revenue collectors in the country to be loyal to their employers, because the unemployment rate in the country was so high.
They should also desist from pocketing monies collected from market tolls and other taxes meant for developing their communities, but to set their record books straight in order not to be caught by the law, since; “the Controller audits accounts in respect of monies paid to office, but don't audit persons”.
Mr. Edison E. Obiade, Eastern Regional Chief Local Government Inspector, explained that local governments – district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies – work closely with central government to make our communities better places to live.
All district assemblies, municipal assemblies and metropolitan assemblies are agents of the central government, created by and for the convenience of the central government and deriving from it such powers as they have.
He advised that after the workshop, the participants should also co-operate with the chiefs and opinion leaders in the area with a view to initiate other policies and programmes that would help to improve the relationship between the rate collector and the rate payer.
Mr. Okoffo Boadi Bompong, Municipal Co-ordinating Director (MCD), who chaired the workshop cautioned that as a department of the assembly, they should work diligently to, among others, help improve revenue generation.
The MCD acknowledged the fact that: “In today's competitive marketplace, maintaining a competitive advantage puts premium on having a highly committed and competent workforce”.
Mr. Bompong noted that the success of any organization depended on finding the right employees with the necessary skills to effectively and efficiently perform the tasks required for attaining the organisation's strategic goals.
He was emphatic that the municipal assembly was prepared to motivate the revenue collectors and offer awards to recognize their efforts and therefore, called on revenue supervisors to co-operate with revenue collectors to ensure the smooth running of the department.
The participants made up of revenue supervisors, revenue inspectors, senior, junior and commission collectors, were taken through enhancing revenue generation in the municipality, the role of revenue in nation building, the Internal Revenue Service as a partner in revenue collection.