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18.10.2005 Regional News

Delay in the use of Bawku market, affecting Assembly's Revenue

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Bawku (U/E), Oct. 18, GNA - The Bawku Municipal Assembly received 1.08 billion cedis, as its share of the Common Fund for the first quarter of this year.

The amount is part of an allocation of 5.7 billion cedis earmarked for the district for 2005, to pursue various development programmes. Mr Abdul-Rahman Gumah, Municipal Chief Executive, who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), also said that another 1.2 billion cedis had been released to the Assembly out of an expected 5 billion cedis from the HIPC Fund.

On locally generated revenue, the MCE said the Assembly had collected 645.2 million cedis between January and June this year. He attributed the poor performance in local revenue mobilisation to the non-utilization of the Bawku Central Market, a major revenue source for the Assembly.

"With the return of peace to Bawku, economic activity is beginning to boom once again, but a greater portion of the revenue that should have come to the Assembly is being lost, due to the absence of a central marketplace," he explained.

The Bawku market was reconstructed about five years ago under the World Bank's Urban Three Project, but its utilization was put on a hold following difficulties relating to the allocation of stores. Mr Gumah indicated, however that, the bottlenecks had been ironed out and that the Assembly's allocation committee had begun work on the sharing of stores, an exercise he said, could be completed by the end of October.