Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, Executive Director of Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) has said the availability of resources is key to any successful decentralisation programme.
He said this at the backdrop of government’s inability to meet timelines on the transfer of five per cent of the national revenue to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as the District Assemblies’ Common Fund disbursement timelines was required by law.
He said this during regional dialogue on local revenue generation and launching of internally generated funds (IGF) compendium in Tamale.
The event, organised by GDCA in collaboration with Northern Regional Tax Justice Coalition and beneficiary districts of the Empowerment for Life Programme, was to prepare a compendium of best practices and challenges in the mobilisation of local revenue.
Alhaji Abdel-Rahman said as a country, the availability of resources was key for any successful decentralisation process and added that the tenets of local government system were to raise internal revenue to complement transfers from central government, which had been fraught with a lot of challenges bedeviling the processes.
He said due to the challenges, GDCA had engaged in interventions aimed at helping to increase MMDAs’ IGF while reducing revenue leakages.
He talked about the IGF compendium, which was also launched as part of the event, saying it was developed in support of the desire to increase IGF in the country’s MMDAs.
Mr Philip Gmabi, Technical Advisor, Policy, and Governance at GDCA, advised MMDAs to use revenue management software in their revenue generation to address the challenges.
He called on MMDAs to adopt electronic payment systems to reduce cash payments to enhance accountability and transparency.
He added that MMDAs should also improve community outreach efforts for citizens to better understand internal revenue mobilisation and utilisation processes.
Mr Mahamoud Haruna, Regional Budget Analyst at Northern Regional Coordinating Council, urged the citizenry to participate in monitoring the collection of revenue in their MMDAs to enhance accountability.
He advised citizens to pay their taxes to promote development.