The Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA) has chalked yet another success in its revenue mobilization as it exceeded revenue target in 2015 by 3.2 percent. This came to light when the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey, addressed a Town Hall meeting at Kwabenya, a suburb of the municipality.
The Town Hall meeting, organized by the Assembly in collaboration with the African Development Programme (ADP), formed part of the pillars of the local government system of promoting participatory, accountable and transparent governance at the local level.
The event also formed part of the Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) forum organized by the ADP and its partners which the Ga East Municipal Assembly is among the 46 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) implementing it.
The occasion was used to present and review the performance of the 2015 budget of the Assembly and inform the general public, especially residents, about the state of development in the municipality and the various activities in the past year.
A cross-section of stakeholders within the municipality attended the programme including traditional rulers, faith-based organizations, traders, residents, youth groups, Assembly and Unit Committee Members, political parties, as well as staff of the Assembly.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey, addressing the gathering said the Assembly exceeded its revenue target by 3.2% as a result of improved revenue mobilization drive.
He stated that “the Assembly internally generated Gh₵3,436,790.14, exceeding the target of Gh₵3,329,436 which represented 103.2%”.
Hon. Kwao Sackey cited the retention of old rates and levies, revaluation and valuation of old and new properties, teaming up with Residents’ Associations to collect Property Rates, enhanced structural permit acquisition procedures as well the expansion of the scope of collection of Business Operating Permits (BOPs) as some of the strategies helped to reach the target.
He highlighted some of the achievements in the year under review as the construction of a maternity/children’s block for the Abokobi Health Centre, 1No. 72 stalls Market at Abokobi, the construction of the Musuku-Kwabenya School Junction road, Palm Avenue-Dome Pillar 2 road, Haatso ECOMOG Extension road, and Asafo-Adjei and Haatso Supermarket-Agbogba roads among others.
He also announced that the Assembly completed the phase one (ground floor) of the 3-storey office annex, named after the Council of State Member representing the Greater Accra Region, Honourable Emmanuel Adzei Anang, with funding from the Internally Generated Fund (IGF).
He mentioned that a revolving fund was set up last year to help promote bloc farming and improve the socio-economic status of our women and youth in the municipality out of which 126 people, mostly women, have received financial support in various amounts totaling GHC19,000.00.
Hon. Kwao Sackey stressed the importance the Assembly attaches to the Street Naming and Property Addressing project, stating that they commenced the digitization stage last year with a pilot phase on five communities; Haatso, Papao, Dome CFC, and REGIMANUEL at Kwabenya.
He further stated that Papao was fully digitized successfully last year while the other four communities had been earmarked for completion this year.
The MCE disclosed that the Assembly has acquired offices for the Electoral Commission and the establishment of a District Court both at Kwabenya.
Touching on this year’s general elections, Hon. Kwao Sackey advised the people and political parties within his jurisdiction to “strive to safeguard our democracy by observing the rules and regulations governing the electoral process”.
He indicated that the Assembly was committed to providing the security agencies the needed support to ensure that law and order is maintained at all times before, during and after the elections.
There was a presentation which showed pictures of completed development projects and programmes implemented and an account of the performance of the budget for 2015.
Participants at the event generally praised the MCE and Assembly for the good work done and called for a conscious effort to improve the road network in the municipality. They also pledged to honour their tax obligations to enable the Assembly mobilize enough funds for development.
The new Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD), Alhaji Shehu Awudu Kadiri, was introduced to the gathering.
The Presiding Member and Chief of Papao, Hon. Nii Annang Ofori, who chaired the programme encouraged the citizenry to be law-abiding and pay their taxes promptly to help the Assembly plan and implement more development projects.
By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman