The Agona West Municipal Assembly has organised a workshop for 80 selected persons to help improve on revenue collection in the municipality.
Participants at the event came from government departments, assembly members, financial institutions, educational institutions, revenue collection institutions, physically challenged associations, the private sector, commission collectors, market women associations, transport union and other socio-economic groupings.
The workshop, held under the theme: “Agona West beyond Common Fund”, was aimed at creating innovative ways of mobilising revenue to finance the Assembly’s development projects envisaged in its three-year Medium Term Development Plan from 2018-2021.
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Agona West Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), said the Assembly has adopted an agenda of developing the municipality beyond common fund from the Central Government.
She said they were committed to developing the municipality with domestic revenues in addition to prudent financial management.
Mrs Assan urged stakeholders in revenue mobilisation to support the new idea with innovative ways to improve revenue collection to maximise resources locally for the Assembly.
The MCE said the Assembly has set out plans such as comprehensive revenue data collection, computerised registration, privatisation of revenue collection, pre-printed licenses/bills, effective revenue administration and weekend revenue collection.
She urged the stakeholders to help the revenue “collector assigned to their areas to identify and register all eligible taxpayers and sensitize the tax payers on the importance of paying taxes.
The MCE advised stakeholders to help to follow up tax defaulters, identify new revenue sources and report fraudulent practices on the part of some revenue collectors to the Authorities of the assembly.
Dr Eric Akobeng, Development Economist and a facilitator of the workshop, said the Agona West Municipal Assembly will receive an estimated Common Fund allocation of four hundred and sixty six thousand (GH¢466,000.00), which will represent 20 per cent of the common fund of the Assembly.
He said arrears and uncollected bills on property rate alone amounted to one million, five hundred and sixty two thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢1,562,000.00) based on the available data.
Speaking on the topic: “Ghana beyond aid and revenue mobilization”, Dr Eric Akobeng said, under the Marshall Plan, the United State of America(USA) gave aid to 14 European countries.
Dr Akobeng said “aid has not helped Ghana because of dependency syndrome and Ghana has been creating poverty stories with over-ambitious development plans without doing much to mobilize local resources to finance our development projects”.
He lauded the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the self-sufficient policy direction but warned that debt servicing is taking a large part of Ghana’s domestic revenue.
Dr Eric Akobeng, said the continuous increase in the debt stock may threaten the President’s agenda to grow the economy beyond aid, saying more revenue will be used to service national debt and this will affect capital expenditures after salaries and statutory commitments.