To efficiently carry out its operations and proposed projects, the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) has approved a 55-billion-cedis budget for the year, 2006.
The budget, which aims at mobilizing revenue of 55.749 billion cedis to support its operations with a corresponding 55.744 billion expenditure, would yield the Assembly 5.2 billion cedis surplus. Mr David Quaye Annang, Tema Municipal Chief Executive disclosed this on Wednesday in a session address, during the opening ceremony of the Third Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly in Tema.
He indicated that, out of the total estimated revenue, 33.8 billion cedis, representing 60.6 per cent would be generated from its own sources, while the remaining 21.9 billion cedis also representing 39.3 per cent would be provided from the Central Government Grants. Mr Annang pointed out that, by the end of 2005, the assembly realized an Internally Generated Fund (IGF) of 24.2 billion cedis, which represented about 94 per cent of a budgeted target of 25.7 billion cedis.
However, it could not achieve its IGF target partly due to the shortfall in property rates from Volta Aluminium Company. He further stated that, to enforce efficiency in its revenue mobilization, there had been a downward revision in the commissions paid to TMA's major revenue contractors in order to reduce the cost involved in revenue collection.
On the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the municipality, he said the municipality had registered a total of 105,902 clients by the end of March this year. According to the MCE the scheme, which started operating in November 2005 had issued 22,436 identity cards and 67,308 health facility attendance cards to its clients, while contracting seven health providers and 22 pharmaceutical shops in the municipality for the provision of health services under the scheme.
The scheme however, was faced with problems of incorrect Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) numbers of clients from the formal sector, while that of the informal sector had to do with incorrect description of occupation.
On the beautification of the city, Mr Annang commented that, "Tema, which was once a beautiful city with lawns and roundabouts has now disappeared, leaving in its stead unpleasant scenes and unauthorized walkways".
He announced that, the Assembly would this year embark on a massive beautification project in all parts of the municipality in preparation towards the commemoration of Ghana's 50th independence. "These include replanting of trees and grassing at all our roundabouts, the green belts and all the principal corridors of our city" Mr Annang elaborated.
Commenting on the current state of HIV/AIDS in the municipality, he lamented that, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was still high in the municipality as compared to other district. Mr Annang said as part of TMA's efforts to fight the menace; a vetting committee of the Assembly was screening 42 proposals received from organizations of which a list of those qualified would be presented to the Ghana AIDS Commission for funding for their sub-projects on anti-HIV/AIDS campaigns in the municipality.