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Regional News | May 13, 2004

District Assemblies advised to consult on investments

GNA

Sekondi, May 13, GNA- District Assembly budget officers and planners have been advised to work closely with financial institutions in order to derive maximum benefits from the common fund.

They could consult banks, investment companies and institutions on how to raise additional capital to finance projects.

Professor Albert M. Abane, Director of the Consultancy Unit of the University of Cape Coast said this at a three-day workshop for budget, planning, accounts officers of district assemblies and District Chief Executives.

The 120 participants were from the Central and Western Regions, while the National Investment Bank (NIB) is sponsoring the workshop. Prof. Abane said it is dangerous to collect and keep millions of cedis in office drawers for a long period adding, "the mode of utilising government and donor funds, should be carefully done, to avoid mistrust".

He said the workshop would expand decentralisation, democracy and good governance in the metropolitan, municipal and district levels. He therefore called on revenue collectors, to change their attitude towards work and take the programme as an inspiration towards duty in their respective assemblies.

Mr. Joseph Asumang-Gyesaw, General Manager of Banking Operations of the NIB said the bank aims at unearthing, nurturing and managing investments in partnership with key sectors of the economy.

He said modalities for record keeping, building and maintaining good image and sustaining the accumulation of public funds for special development are the major focus of the bank.

Mr. Frimpong Siaw, a resource person from the UCC said revenue collectors should be professional and cooperate with other collectors while transacting their business to achieve the desired impact. He said "you should be tolerant with your clients and must not allow anyone to upset you in the performance of your duties.

Mr. Siaw said the over-reliance on traditional sources of revenue, absence of revenue database, embezzlement and withholding of revenue by collectors and the inability of the assemblies to adjust their rates, are major constraints facing the various district assemblies. He advised the district assemblies to develop a comprehensive inventory and introduce improved methods of identification, registration and collection of revenue.

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