The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA), Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, has cautioned Municipal Revenue Collectors against corrupt practices which results in revenue losses to the Assembly, saying they will be arrested if they are caught doing so. She said this at the closing of a day’s training workshop for the Assembly’s Revenue Collectors.
Since assuming office in May, 2017, Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, the first-ever female MCE for the Assembly, has made revenue mobilization one of her priority areas and hence initiated several moves to help the Assembly generate more revenue for development.
These include a field familiarization of revenue mobilization within weeks after she got the nod from the Assembly to confirm her nomination by His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo Addo, where she inspected how bills are distributed and collected and interacted with some business owners, leading to the arrest of some Revenue Collectors who had engaged in some malfeasance in the discharge of their duty.
Again, she recruited 40 new Municipal Guards and redeployed them for revenue mobilization and contracted NdiGIS to gather data electronically of all businesses within the municipality, making it possible for the Assembly to issue electronic bills for Business Operating Permit (BOP).
The training on Thursday was the third since she became the MCE, having the belief that with the requisite capacity-building, the Revenue Collectors could perform better.
The Revenue Collectors, who were joined by Heads of Departments and Units, were taken through Fee Fixing Resolution, Internal Controls, Billing, as well as the Appearance, Behaviours and Attitudes of the Collectors in discharging their duties.
Speaking at training workshop for the Assembly’s Revenue Collectors, Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, advised the Revenue Collectors to be circumspect in their activities on the field and desist from using the revenue collection process as a means to enrich themselves indicating that there will be serious consequences for those caught in the act.
“Personally, I always want to see things done and done well. As such, last year, I went on the field after your revenue mobilization exercise and the little that I gathered nearly sent people to jail. I don’t want a repeat of that this year. I will go out this year and those who excel will be rewarded and those who will have to be reprimanded will also be held to account. I have said that Ga East will be the enviable municipality and it will require hard work from all of us to achieve this feat.”
Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr Joshua Adams Asihene, also enforced the MCE’s stand and charged the Revenue Collectors to be conscious of their contribution towards the development of the municipality and work within their remit.
“This year our revenue collection process will take a more serious turn. There will be revenue supervisors who will monitor your activities on the field. Revenue is the lifeblood of the Assembly so we won’t allow any illegal activities which will generate revenue losses for us. You must be cautious with your activities on the field. Anyone caught pilfering the Assembly’s money through one illegal means or the other will be reported to the police. He said.
He continued that “this year, with the help of NdiGIS, we hope to trace all businesses in the municipality to maximize our revenue mobilization”.
He also stated the need to have the Assembly’s presence felt in the municipality to aid revenue collection.
“We need to make our presence felt in the municipality to make it easier for you to convince businesses to pay their taxes. In this direction, we are in the process of mounting signages across our boundaries and also we intend to create branded apparel for you so you will easily be recognizable and have our Municipal Guards stationed at various boundaries and vantage points in the municipality.”
Mr Asihene also advised the revenue collectors to use effective communication to persuade businesses to pay their taxes.
The Resource Persons for the training workshop were the Municipal Finance Officer (MFO), Mr. Francis Danzerl, Municipal Budget Officer (MBO), Noah Tali, Municipal Revenue Accountant (MRA), Mrs. Angela Tagoe and Head of Management Information System (MIS), Mr. Philemon Acquah.
By: Andrew Tagoe
Pictures by: Edward Tetteh/ Andrew Tagoe