The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Simon Kweku Tetteh, has said every government would succeed if the citizenry performed their duties by paying their required taxes and levies which the government uses for development.
He said in the situation where the people refused to pay their legitimate taxes and levies but rather read political meaning into those obligations draws the country back and that affected development programmes seriously.
“There is no country that will develop without collection of taxes and levies from the citizens even if that country is very rich in so many natural resources. So there is therefore the need for us as citizens of Lower Manya Krobo to honour our tax obligations for the development of the municipality and the country at large and no political meaning should be read into it as it is being done now,” the MCE said.
Mr Tetteh was answering questions at a forum organised by Youth and Women Empowerment (YOWE) and sponsored by STAR Ghana Foundation, the phase II of Gender and Social Inclusive (GESI), an interface between vulnerable groups at Odumase-Krobo.
The programme, which was entitled: “Promoting inclusive and participatory governance II,” was attended by persons with disability (PWDs), queenmothers association, traditional authorities, market women, organised groups, among others.
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He said even though it was an obligation for everyone to pay levies and property rates, many were the people who were reading political meanings into it and asked “which government would come and would not collect taxes and levies”?
According to him, even though the present government has brought the free senior high school programme which has started in earnest with many students benefiting from it, there were still people in the municipality who were playing politics with it and asked the stakeholders at the function to educate the general public about the usefulness of the programme for their wards to benefit from.
Mr Tetteh urged all to help the assembly in raising internally generated fund (IGF) from the various communities by paying their tolls and property rates to support the transformation agenda in Lower Manya, stressing “avail yourselves and support all the government flagship programmes”.
The Executive Director of YOWE, Mr Emmanuel Nuertey Siakwa, said the project sought to support and facilitate dialogue between district assemblies, District Fund Management Committee (DFMC) and PWD groups on the relevance and the quality of items and goods procured for the PWDs, facilitate quarterly updates on the disbursement, utilisation and management of the disability fund and support socially excluded and vulnerable groups to attend key decision-making processes.
The programme was also used to organise live radio discussions with phone-in segment to discuss vulnerable groups’ participation in governance and the issue of disability fund in the Lower Manya Municipality and Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region.
Mr Siakwa remarked with satisfaction that beneficiaries of the disability fund were satisfied with the goods and items procured for their economic activities. In the same vein, women, PWDs, the youth and hard-to-reach communities were participating in the district assembly processes.
The Manya Krobo Traditional Area Paramount Queenmother, Naana Aplam II, urged the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly to gazette its bye-laws and put them into action.
She also advised parents, teachers and the general public to help reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the area.