Accra, May 7, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama has called on Metropolitan,Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to initiate innovative measures to enhance the generation of Internally Generated Funds (IGF).
He said resources generated at the local level would help in the country’s development, especially at the grass root level.
Dr Nii Moi Thompson, an Economist, was speaking on behalf of the President, at the opening of the National Consultative Conference on Strategic Guidelines to Optimize IGF on Tuesday.
The day’s conference was on the theme: Maximising Internally Generated Revenue Potentials for Improved Local Level Service Delivery.
It provided a forum for the review of key policies, legal, institutional,administrative and capacity issues emerging in the mobilisation and the utilization of internally generated revenue at the local level.
It was also to validate, generate recommendations and set priorities for the implementation and generally foster consensus.
The conference was aimed at examining four thematic issues, including sources of IGF, mobilisation and revenue collection, utilization and service delivery and tax payers rights and responsibility.
President Mahama said the MMDAs needed to form viable partnership to enable them improve on their IGF to develop their districts, since effective resource mobilisation comes with responsibility.
President Mahama said government would continue to thrive to make lives comfortable for the people through the decentralization system.
Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, said a combination of well-formulated policy options and administrative measures were required at the central and district level, to address the challenges of IGF.
These measures should capacitate and empower MMDAs to manage their local revenue operations effectively and efficiently, he added.
He said one of the key principles of fiscal decentralization was equity in resources available for improved service delivery, however, the trend over the years showed wide disparity in the IGF resource availability among the MMDAs.
He said property rates all over the world were major resources of revenue for local government, however, the contribution of this rates to the total IGF revenue of Assemblies appears to be decreasing.
The Minister said the outcome of the conference should contribute to the development of a comprehensive set of strategic guidelines to improve IGF mobilisation and management efforts.
Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the reasons for the relatively low percentage of IGF was with structural,administrative and systemic inefficiencies within the MMDAs.
He said some of the administrative constraints affecting revenue mobilisation at the local level include MMDAs capacity to effectively and efficiently improve IGF for service delivery.
He said the country having implemented the decentralization programme for more than two decades, MMDAs should now be less reliant on the central government transfers, since they are only meant to supplement IGF.
He said boundary disputes have also contributed to the non-realisation of IGF in MMDAs with disputes.
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