By Patrick Biddah
The Foundation for Security Development In Africa(FOSDA) , is pushing for a more effective revenue mobilization drive at the district assembly levels.
According to FOSDA, there is more and effective ways of generating revenue when the use of technology is enhanced.
FOSDA has, therefore developed an online transparency and accountability index targeted at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on how to use technology to effectively monitor revenue collection and utilization.
At a stakeholders’ dialogue on domestic revenue mobilization in Accra on December 6, 2022, the Programmes Manager for FOSDA, Mr Solomom Okine, explained that one of the reasons MMDAs are not yielding full revenue generation are challenges which ranges from cost of going to pay for revenue at the assembles to not having data on the location of properties.
He said there was the need therefore to encourage citizens to carry out their taxes in a more convenient and less stressful environment in order to achieve the revenue targets.
The dialogues which brought together stakeholders from some civil society organizations and state institutions, such as the Local Govnement Ministry among others, was to fine tune the areas for revenue generation at the local level .
One major area identified was the collection of property rate to shore up the revenue of many of the MMDAs.
In his view , during a presentation, Mr Okine, indicated there was the need for the Land Valuation Division to work with the assembles to properly value properties in order to collect these rates.
With the 10 millions structures said to be in existence according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census out of which 5millon is yet to be completed , Mr Okine, said there is the potential to rake in revenue from property rate.
In a welcome address, a Director with FOSDA, Madam Amina Montia, stressed that FOSDA has been focused on deepening knowledge on domestic revenue particularly on the creation of awareness on property rate.
The Cape Coast and the Asutifi municipal assemblies , she noted have started increasing their revenue generation by the use of technology for collection.
“ Our visions is to see all MMDAs use technology to collect revenue which is expected to happen soon “, he added.
As part of the dialogue, there was a panel discussion on the proposed property rate collection strategy : its perspectives , prospects and implications for pro- poor service delivery at the local level.
Making a contribution, an officer from the Domestic Tax Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority ( GRA) Mr Kwesi Ackaah, revealed that over 34,000 people have been trained to roll out a software application for the collection of property rate next year.
His counterpart, Madam Deborah Vivian Ashun, who is a Principal Economics Officer at the Ministry of Finance also indicated that separate agreements have been signed with all the 216 MMDAs as a binding to implement the digital collection.