Ga Central Assembly deploys technology to plug revenue loopholes

BY: Gertrude Ankah Nyavi & Issah Mohammed
Dr Emmanuel Lamptey (middle) and Mr. Ishmael Ashitey inspecting the system
Dr Emmanuel Lamptey (middle) and Mr. Ishmael Ashitey inspecting the system

The Ga Central Municipal Assembly in 2017 succeeded in collecting about 93 percent of targeted revenue.

Of the budgeted GH₵2,888,000 revenue for the year, the assembly settled with GH₵2,697,046. And the target for 2018, is to do even better, according to the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Dr Emmanuel Lamptey.
Dr Lamptey addressing the gathering
 Announcing the results and the new resolve of the assembly at the launch of an Electronic Payment Management and Sanitation Monitoring System on Tuesday, Dr Emmanuel Lamptey said the performance was about 45 per cent improvement over the 2016 performance, adding that expenditure of the assembly also reduced by 34.5 per cent.
 
 In 2016 the assembly budgeted to collect GH₵1,814,374 but ended with GH₵1,857,522.34.
 
He was therefore of the view that the introduction of the Electronic Payment Management and Sanitation Monitoring System, estimated at $50,000 will help achieve a 100 per cent target set for the assembly this year.
 

He also stated that the introduction of the system was in response to calls by government to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to be innovative in exploring better and improved ways of expanding their internally Generated Funds (IGFs).

 

Participants at the inauguration of the electronic payment system

This, he said, is to compliment government’s transfers to raise adequate funds to deal with the numerous developmental challenges facing the country.
 
Dr Lamptey noted that the manual collection of revenue recorded several irregularities and malpractices over the years, including suppressing of figures, untimely payment of collected revenues and non-disclosure of collected revenue.
 
According to him, the malpractices denied the state the needed resources for development and that the introduction of the new system would help resolve the problem.
 
 
An official of the Ga Central Municipal Assembly demonstrating to Mr Ishmael Ashitey (2nd left), Greater Accra Regional Minister and Dr. Emmanuel Lamptey (left), Ga Central Municipal Chief Executive on how the electronic payment system works during the ceremony
 
He explained that the e-payment software has been developed in an integrated manner not only to cater for the collection of business operation permits and property rates, it also has a waste collection monitoring system which will provide quantitative information on the operations of waste collection service providers at the household level in the various  communities in the municipality.
 
In addition, he said the system will eliminate the yearly printing of bills, truancy by some revenue collectors, and negotiated payment by rate payers, improve statistical analysis to relate payment to development challenges.
 
other participants at the inauguration of the electronic payment system
One- District, One Factor
Dr Lamptey further said that the assembly is implementing the One-District, One-Factory (1D1F) policy through the establishment of a €48 million Waste-to-Energy Processing Plant in a Public-Private Partnership arrangement with Renergenc Limited.
 
The project, according to the MCE, has received approval from the 1D1F Secretariat, “and we are currently working on the Energy Commission and Environmental Protection Agency permits. The project is scheduled for commissioning in February 2020, and will potentially be providing solution to the waste-landfill challenges facing the Greater Accra Region”.
 
Secondly, he said the assembly is working to establish a natural water production factory for bottled and sachet water as well as promoting snail farming in the municipality. These, he said are aimed at transforming the socioeconomic lives of the people in the area.
 
Challenges
Dr Lamptey mentioned annual rent payment of GH₵200,400 for office and residential accommodation, salaries of staff, a poor drainage system, poor road network and the lack of land for infrastructural development as some of the challenges confronting the assembly.
 
Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister addressing participants at the ceremony.
 
 The Minister of the Greater Accra region, Mr. Ishmael Ashitey commended the Assembly for the initiatives.
 
He reiterated that the Electronic Payment Management System will go a long way to improve local revenue mobilization and eliminate some irregularities in the manual collection of revenue of the Assembly.
 
He therefore called for maximum utilization of the technology in order to increase revenue for the Assembly.