Agona West Municipal Assembly Plans Beyond Common Fund

A workshop has been organized by Agona West Municipal Assembly for 80 stakeholders on enhancing internal revenue mobilization.

The participants were selected from heads of decentralized departments, Assembly members, financial institutions, representatives from educational institutions, revenue collectors, executives from Ghana Federation of the Disabled , private commission collectors, market women associations and other socio-economic groupings at Agona Swedru.

The theme for the workshop was “Agona West beyond Common Fund”.

The aim was to discuss innovative ways of mobilizing revenue to finance the Assembly’s development projects envisaged in the Medium Term Development Plan for 2018-2021.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Honorable Justina Marigold Assan, launched the agenda of developing Agona West Municipality beyond common fund. She said that the Assembly was committed to developing Agona west Municipality using domestic revenues and prudent financial management.

She urged the stakeholders to come up with new ideas and innovative ways of improving revenue collection so as to mobilize enough resources locally.

She identified the use of measures such as comprehensive revenue data collection, computerized registers, and privatization of collection, pre-printed licenses/bills, effective revenue administration and weekend revenue collection.

The MCE urged the stakeholders to help the revenue collector assigned to their areas identify and register all eligible tax payers and sensitize the tax payers on the importance of paying taxes. She urged the participants to help follow up tax defaulters, identify new revenue sources and report fraudulent practices.

By reinforcing the MCE’s view, Dr Eric Akobeng, Development Economist and Principal Budget Analyst, who facilitated the workshop, demonstrated that the Agona West Municipal Assembly will receive an estimated Common Fund allocation of Four Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc466,000), which represents 20{691bf53531965264a06da82d2be8eb9e317e1f98325cc382e267ce46f37701e7} of the District Assembly’s common fund (aside the 80{691bf53531965264a06da82d2be8eb9e317e1f98325cc382e267ce46f37701e7} deduction based on government directive) for the District’s own projects in 2018.

“However, arrears and uncollected bills on property rate amounts to One Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc1,562,000.00) based on the available data. Thus, the Assembly can carry many development projects with only property rate without the common fund”

Dr Eric Akobeng said lack of a good property rate collection strategy is impacting negatively on domestic revenue mobilization in the country.

He lauded Agona West Municipal Assembly for involving stakeholders to discuss innovative approaches to collect property rate. He urged all Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana to follow the move.

He urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Local Government Service to assist MMDAs to collect data to determine their revenue collection potentials.

” This will help Assemblies to set realistic revenue targets and budget scientifically. This will also help the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund in deciding on the 6{691bf53531965264a06da82d2be8eb9e317e1f98325cc382e267ce46f37701e7} revenue improvement factor in the allocation of the fund to MMDAs”

Touching on the topic “Ghana beyond aid and revenue mobilization”, Dr Eric Akobeng said, under the Marshall Plan, the USA gave aid to 14 European countries.

“The plan brought Western Europe back onto a strong economic footing after the Second World War. If aid worked perfectly in Europe, why not Ghana? He argued that aid has not helped Ghana because of the dependency syndrome. Ghana has been creating poverty stories with over-ambitious development plans without doing much to mobilize local resources to finance our development. We live in the midst of many resources, but we are poor.”

Dr. Eric Akobeng lauded the president for the self-sufficient policy direction but warned that debt servicing is taking a large portion of Ghana’s domestic revenue. This is making the economy of Ghana susceptible to shocks. According to him, in 2017, interest payment on public debt of Ghana was equal to 41.8{691bf53531965264a06da82d2be8eb9e317e1f98325cc382e267ce46f37701e7} of total tax revenue. He urged the Government of Ghana to limit burrowing to high priority development interventions that have growth potentials.

According to him, continuous increase in the debt stock may impact negatively on the President’s agenda to grow the economy beyond aid. More revenue will be used to service national debt and this will affect capital expenditures after salaries and statutory commitments. He thus urged the government to depend on local revenue mobilization than borrowing.

Source : Benedict Kweku Nkrumah

Super OD to be buried on May 19

Veteran actor and comedian Super OD will be buried at Agona Abodom in the Central Region on May 19.

Super OD born Asonaba Kwaku Darko died at the Agona Swedru Government Hospital on Tuesday, February 13.

The 84-year-old actor had been out of the public’s eye for some time due to his illness and had been living in Agona Swedru.

Super OD, who started acting in the 1970s, gained national prominence in the 1990s for roles in popular series, Akan Drama on Ghana Television.

He was part of the Oppong Drama Group which later became known as Osofo Dadzie Group.

The Osofo Dadzie class act will be laid in state on May 18, 2018, and will be buried the following day.

Super OD’s thanksgiving service will be held at the Central Presbyterian Church at Agona Abodom on May 20, 2018.

He left behind 15 children.


Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com

Assembly Decongests Agona Swedru Business Area

The Agona West Municipal Assembly [AWMA] has decongested the business area of Agona Swedru, clearing traders who sell at unapproved places.

The exercise, which seeks to ease the movement of vehicles and pedestrians, is also meant to protect traders and buyers who transact business along the streets.

A nine-member task force set up by the assembly carried out the exercise, with the support of the police.

Tables, chairs and other makeshift structures of defiant traders who had refused to vacant the unapproved places after a series of notices to them were destroyed.

Worrying developments

The road behind the main Swedru Market, which was hitherto taken over traders, making it virtually impossible for vehicles to use that route towards Dwenho has become deserted for the first time in many years after the exercise.

Traders who plied their trade in the area have all moved to the market to carry out their trading activities.

As part of the exercise, the Agona Swedru Lorry Park has been demarcated to ensure organized parking for vehicles to prevent congestion.


Source: Daily Graphic

18 year old cable thief jailed 16 months

The Agona Swedru District Court in the Central Region, has sentenced an 18-year-old underground electrical cable thief, Sylvester Asare, to sixteen months imprisonment.

He was caught by residents at Otabilkrom, a suburb of Agona Swedru in the Central Region, on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at dawn, while trying to bolt with stolen cables belonging to the Electricity Company of Ghana [ECG].

The ECG indicated that Sylvester Asare stole an unenergized cable of 3×185mm² in size, which was about 5 metres long.

According to some residents who handed him to the police, the suspect is a coconut seller, but is also noted for such unscrupulous acts.

The court, presided over by His Lordship Isaac Apeatu, last Wednesday found the suspect guilty and sentenced him to sixteen months in jail.

The Agona Swedru District of the ECG has been battling high operational cost over the years, and has attributed the situation partly to massive cable theft.

The District Manager of the ECG, Ahmed Kwesi Adams, warned that the sentence should serve as a deterrent to other criminals in the area, reiterating that the company is putting measures in place to prevent such theft incidents from occurring.

He also pleaded that “residents in our various communities should be vigilant in order to protect assets belonging to the state and other institutions”.

By: Joseph Ackon Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana(Date: Feb 22, 2018 11:51am)

Circuit, Magistrate courts in Agona Swedru run shift

The Agona Swedru Circuit and the Magistrate courts have resorted to a shift system in the adjudication of cases.

The situation has come about because the entire roof of the storey building housing the courts was ripped off by a rainstorm on March 4, 2018.

The building, located at Bebianiha, a suburb of Agona Swedru, houses the Magistrate Court on the ground floor and the Circuit Court on the first floor.

The storm left roofing sheets over the offices of the court registrar, the cashier and the bailiff, as well as the records office, the judge’s chamber and the entire courtroom completely destroyed, leaving the Circuit Court inoperative.

At a meeting to fashion out immediate steps to address the challenge with courtrooms to ensure that the trial of cases was not unduly delayed, the stakeholders resorted to running the shift system.

Shift system
The Circuit Court adjudicates cases on Mondays and Tuesdays in the courtroom of the Magistrate Court, while the Circuit Court judge sits in chamber to settle cases between Wednesday and Friday.

The Magistrate Court takes its turn to use the courtroom from Wednesday to Friday, while its family tribunal cases are heard in camera on Tuesdays.

Visit

When a team from the Daily Graphic visited the court premises last Tuesday, it observed that the situation was affecting the effective delivery of justice by both courts, as staff struggled with space to keep court records and other documents, while most of the confidential files were left at the mercy of the weather.

The team also observed that the building needed urgent attention to avoid further havoc to the edifice with the onset of the rains.

Staff lament

Some of the staff members who spoke with the Daily Graphic, on condition of anonymity, wondered why after several visits by officials of the Agona West Municipal Assembly (AWMA) and a team led by the Central Regional Administrative Officer of the Judicial Service, Mr Jehoshaphat Nyarko, the situation was still the same.

They called on the government, development partners, as well as benevolent individuals and organisations, to support the Judicial Service to reroof the building to help speed up the delivery of justice in the municipality.

Assembly’s intervention

When contacted, the Municipal Chief Executive for Agona West, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, said the assembly had resolved to rehabilitate all government buildings that were destroyed by the rainstorm.

She said the reroofing of the Circuit Court would begin this week and was expected to be completed next week, adding that the assembly would also rehabilitate all school buildings that were affected by the rainstorm.

Background

On Sunday, March 4, 2018, Agona Swedru was hit by rainstorm which, lasted for about 30 minutes, but destroyed many private and public properties, including residences, school and church buildings, and claimed one life.


Author: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey | Date: Apr 05 , 2018