Wa, Jan. 31, GNA –
Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been told that
their over reliance on external funding sources is detrimental to the effective
mobilisation of internally generated funds (IGFs) for development.
Mr John Baptist Atogiba, Chief Director of Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, who gave the admonition said IGF is the life wire of the Assemblies and therefore deserve more attention and not relegated to the background.
Speaking a two-day training workshop on local revenue mobilisation and local economic development in Wa, he said the importance of the IGF unfortunately seems to have eluded the MMDAs.
“In the past, basic rates and market fees were the only sources of revenue for the Assemblies and yet they performed their function effectively,” he noted.
“Funds coming from external sources such as the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), the District Development Fund (DDF), non-governmental organisations and multinational organisations should be viewed as funds coming to complement the IGF and not to replace it”.
Mr Atogiba said relying solely on the DACF and the DDF would not help the MMDAs to deliver on their mandate, hence the essence of the training to enhance their capacity on local revenue mobilisation.
He advised MMDAs to plan well before sending revenue collectors out else they would not achieve the desired results as most revenue collectors on the pay role of the MMDAs often are not able to collect up to what could pay their salaries due to poor planning.
The Chief Director hinted that 30 per cent of revenue collected is supposed to go into capital development but unfortunately that is not the case, hence the reluctance of some people towards payment of rates.
He said using revenue collected on running cost, buying fuel, attending funerals and paying allowances are not judicious use of the funds and would certainly not motivate people to pay their rates promptly and voluntarily.
On local economic development, Mr Atogiba said Shea butter extractors, small ruminant keepers and tourist sites among others if well organised and developed could help the Assemblies improve on revenue performance.
He called on assembly members, unit committee members and traditional authorities to support their chief executives to deliver in the area of local resource mobilisation for effective and efficient development.
Mr Edmund Mangkyiri, Regional Budget Officer noted that increase in population and urbanisation has resulted in increase in demand for resources.
He said organisations that depend only on external funding sources is at a higher risk of non-performance.
He said some districts lack economic, base which is very important for revenue mobilisation, hence the need to train the MMDAs on local economic development strategy.
Mr Mangkyiri advised the Assemblies to be more transparent and accountable in budgeting in order to encourage people to pay their rates.
The Regional Budget Officer said the success of the training workshop would be measured by the end of 2016 per the number of Assemblies that have been able to increase their revenue and how many of them were able to come up with their own local economic development strategy.