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31.03.2006 General News

Edumadze bemoans poor revenue mobilization

By GNA

Ajumako (C/R), March 31, GNA - Mr Isaac Edumadze, Central Regional Minister, on Thursday expressed concern about the inability of the municipal and district assemblies in the region to evolve measures at increasing their internally generated revenues.

According to him, over the past years, there has been a significant decline in such revenues, adding that, records indicate that a total of 10.2 billion cedis was realised in 2004 as against 9.5 billion cedis last year.

The minister expressed these concerns, when he addressed the first quarterly meeting of municipal/district chief executives in the region, at Ajumako.

The quarterly meetings are to afford opportunity to the chief executives to assess themselves and share experiences, to enable them strategize on the way forward.

Mr Edumadze observed that the overall performance of the assemblies last year, was "not good enough", but however, commended the Twifo-Hemang-Lower-Denkyira, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem and Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa assemblies for collecting more than 90 per cent of their projected revenues.

The minister, who is also the MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, described his constituency as the "worst offender," since it was able to realise just a little over 30 per cent of its target.

He underscored the importance of resourcing the respective revenue mobilization units of the assemblies, to improve revenue mobilization and also expressed concern that the urban and area councils were not adequately resourced to function appropriately, although provision was made to cater for them in their respective budgets. On the Avian bird flu, Mr Edumadze called for the formation of task forces at the district levels to create awareness and increase surveillance and appealed to them to take interest in the work of the task force.

He reminded them of the pending district level elections and urged them to help create the necessary awareness and encouraged all potential candidates, especially women to endeavour to stand. Mr Kofi Poku-Adusei, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, repeated the calls on the assemblies not to rely solely on the district assembly's common fund (DACF).

He pointed out that as chief executives, they were required to develop appropriate mechanisms for increased local revenue mobilization, to ensure the provision of more development projects for their people. On sanitation, he tasked them to emulate clean up exercises being undertaken in some regional capitals to help ensure sound environmental sanitation, stressing that, there was the need to rekindle the communal spirit that characterized communities in the past, as well as to ensure the enforcement of bye-laws on sanitation.

Mr Poku-Adusei urged them to work with the district security councils to promote peace in their areas, and announced that his ministry, will from this year, institute a mid-year review meeting of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives. In a welcome address, Mr Kenneth Obempong, DCE for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (AEE), said his assembly had provided training to 25 small business associations (SBA's), which have an average membership of 25 each.

He said they were to in addition, benefit from a total of 2.5 billion cedis micro-credit facilities from the National Micro Finance Centre of the Office of the President and the Social Investment Fund. 31 March 06

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