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29.09.2005 Regional News

MCE expresses concern over abysmal performance of assembly

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Cape Coast, Sept 29, GNA - Mr Muniru Arafat Nuhu, the Cape Coast Municipal Chief Executive, has expressed concern over the abysmal performance of the assembly in its revenue generation effort. He expressed regret that the assembly has only been able to realize 755,044,809.39 cedis, of the targeted revenue of 2,637,024,000.00 cedis for this year, representing just 28.6 percent.

Mr Nuhu, who was addressing the assembly's second ordinary meeting of the third session at Cape Coast, said efforts were being made to "re-energize" the assembly's revenue generation to reverse the situation.

Some of the measures under consideration are the prosecution of all tax defaulters, collection of tolls on Sundays and from people who trade during the night, re-shuffling and setting of targets for collectors and the redeployment of some municipal guards to assist in revenue collection.

He said the assembly last month received 1,368,574,108.00 cedis as its share of the first quarter allocation of the Common Fund. Deductions totalling 396,679,060.00 cedis have been made, leaving a net balance of 971,895,048.00 cedis.

On projects, Mr Nuhu said reconstruction work on the burnt portion of the Kotokuraba Market had been completed and plans were far advanced to allocate the stalls to traders.

Mr Nuhu stressed the need for the assembly to become more focused in dealing with sanitation problems since the municipality had major tourist attractions and also hosts PANAFEST/Emancipation Day. On education, he said only 1,223 of the 3,148 candidates who wrote the BECE were offered placement into senior secondary schools in spite of the assembly's support to the sector and urged the Education Oversight Committee to evolve a mechanism to change the trend. Dr Joseph Nuertey, the Municipal Director of Health Services, expressed worry at the lukewarm attitude of people towards the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and said as at last month, just 30 million cedis had been collected as premiums from the informal sector. He said it was unfortunate that people who could afford to pay more were only paying the minimum premium of 72,000 cedis and appealed to the assembly members to assist the NHIS officials to create more awareness about the scheme.

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