Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth K. T. Sackey has emphasized the need for Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executives (MMCEs) to personally lead the crusade to improve internal revenue generation by focusing on property valuation and collection.
Speaking at the annual regional budget hearing of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) organised by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Greater Regional Coordinating Council on Wednesday at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, the Mayor said the area was huge revenue potential which when tapped could improve IGF base of Assemblies.
She disclosed that the AMA would leverage on digitisation to improve its revenue mobilisation adding that it would soon launch a digital platform for the payment of all its rates.
The hearings, organized for 29 MMDAs in Accra instituted in 2011, form part of the fiscal decentralisation reforms to provide an opportunity for the MMDAs to review their performance and discuss priority programmes and projects in the coming year within the national framework.
She noted that the exercise was very important since it ensures the Budget of the Government particularly the MMDAs was people-centred and addressed key development challenges.
“The budget hearing session is, therefore, an important aspect of public accountability which enhances public trust, education, transparency and is highly recognized as the bedrock of decentralization,” she said.
She pointed out that the budget of the AMA and other sister Assemblies serve as a policy document and a medium to convey their goals and values into plans geared towards development in the form of infrastructure growth to improve the socio-economic well-being of the citizenry and achieve its core mandate.
She reiterated the Assemblies’ responsibility to find a new and innovative ways of mobilising resources internally to fund their developmental needs as well as giving priority to government policies and programmes.
She also used the opportunity to urge all stakeholders to exhibit the same level of commitment and cooperation towards the budget preparation, and implementation.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Henry Quartey in a speech read on his behalf during the hearing revealed that this year’s budget hearing like that of 2021, was being organized on a zonal basis across the region and in view of that ten (10) zones have been constituted where a maximum of three (3) Assemblies per zone will converge at a host Assembly and present their budget under the guidance of the National Technical Working Team and RCC.
This strategy he said as adopted by the RCC will not only deepen participatory budgeting at the sub-national level by enabling stakeholders to appreciate the financial resource mobilisation and spending priorities but will also promote accountability, transparency and inclusion in the financial management at the local level.
He reiterated that the Regional Budget Hearing will further offer the RCC with support from the National Technical Working Team and the opportunity to jointly review the MMDAs revenue and expenditure performance for 2022 and the targets set for 2023-2026. This according to him will ensure that objectives, programmes and projects in the budget reflect government policies and are in line with the 2023-2026 Budget Preparation Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance.