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17.09.2005 General News

Minister prefers commission earning revenue collectors.

By GNA

Wa, Sept. 17, GNA- Mr. Charles Bintim, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development on Friday asked metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to move away from the traditional practice of engaging full-time revenue collectors as a way of lifting up the assemblies' present low revenue generation.

He expressed concern about the fact that in spite of the vast potential, which many of the assemblies have to generate, adequate income to supplement grants from the assemblies common and HIPC funds for their operations, non-performance by the salaried revenue collectors had not helped in improving the financial base of most of the assemblies.

As a result, most of the assemblies virtually depend on the grants they receive from the central government for their operations. The Minister made this call when he addressed the staff, heads of departments and some assembly members of the Wa Municipal assembly at the end of his three-day working visit to the Upper West Region. During the tour, the Minister visited all the eight districts and interacted with the staff, heads of departments and assembly members to find out how the assemblies, especially the three new ones were working and how best to solve the challenges facing them.

Mr. Bintim noted that the performance of most of the assembly's revenue collectors was so poor that they could not even collect half of their monthly salary as revenue and therefore urged the assemblies to consider engaging commission earning revenue collectors whose earning would be tied to the amount of revenue they collect. The Minister further noted with displeasure the numerous demands being made on the assemblies' scarce resources by some of the decentralized departments to run their own programmes and activities for which they have their own budgetary allocations from their mother organizations. He therefore, directed all the assemblies to stop with immediate effect the practice of dishing out monies from the assemblies' coffers to finance the activities of such departments.

The district directorates of the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Education Service and Agriculture are said to be among the departments which often rely on the assemblies to help finance their immunization and science, technology, mathematics education programmes. In his welcoming address, Mr. Mac Adams Banda, Wa Municipal Chief Executive appealed to the Minister to help the assembly with vehicles and computers to enable the assembly to function effectively.

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