Posted: Tuesday 6th May 2014 at 13:00 pm

New Juaben Assembly Moves To Surmount Challenges

The New Juaben Municipal Assembly (NJMA) in the Eastern Region is determined to surmount all challenges and work towards the improvement in the lives of the people in the municipality. The assembly hopes to achieve this objective by setting targets for itself this year to mobilise the needed resources for development programmes and projects.

Finances
Last year, the assembly resolved to mobilise GH¢2,480, 414 under its Internally Generated Funds (IGF) and as of December 31, 2013, it was able to raise GH¢2,537,212. 87, representing 102 per cent. This was largely due to a special revenue task force made up of mostly national service personnel whose contributions enabled the assembly to exceed the target set.

The assembly at the same period earmarked GH¢4,351,275.40 as its externally supported finances from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) the District Development Fund (DDF) and other grants from donor agencies.

Community projects and staff needs
Over 40 interventions have been made to address requests from assembly members, educational institutions and the needs of staff of the assembly. Footbridges, culverts, rehabilitation of bungalows, schools, among others, have been embarked on. These projects are found in some suburbs in the municipality including Oyoko, Anlo Town, Asokore Aburodua, Ohemaa Park and Adweso.

“Staff have also been availed of the opportunity to attend workshops and training programmes to boost their capacity for an efficient service delivery. Indeed, one officer has been sponsored to GIMPA for a training programme as part of her career development, a situation which would have been previously untenable,”

“Again, one of the newly recruited assistant directors is presently at GIMPA pursuing a 10-week post-graduate certificate in public administration.

Under my leadership, I will continue to motivate staff to give their best and I strongly believe that capacity development is a positive morale booster for every personnel of any organisation,” said the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Dr Kweku Owusu-Acheampong, at the first ordinary meeting of the fourth session of the sixth assembly of the NJMA in Koforidua.

Roads
The Koforidua Municipality is made up of 298 kilometres of roads of which 46 per cent is paved and 159.93 is unpaved. In an attempt to address this imbalance, GH¢1.23 million was expended on routine maintenance, as well as the replacement of metal gratings. The Road Fund, in addition to this, released GH¢436,850.88 towards the construction of drains, gravelling and upgrading of unpaved roads. Currently, work on the upgrading of the Osabene, Nyamekrom, Densu Intake, Atekyem, Koforidua, Chief Dagomba area, New Zongo and Yawkyeremakrom is progressing steadily while the contractor working on the main road to Acheampong, Trom, Agavenga and Bunya returned to site after a few challenges but has abandoned work again.

Security
Thanks to the joint military and police night patrol team, the Koforidua Municipality continues to enjoy relative peace and calm which has made it possible for the people to engage in various socio-economic endeavours. The activities of the task force has gone a long way to check the miscreants and other criminals in the municipality.

“In fact, the crime statistics is an indication of the positive role played by our security agencies in fighting crime. Crime prevention is a collective responsibility and I wish to appeal to assembly members, nananom and the media to take personal interest in ensuring the security of their properties and personal lives,” The MCE added.

Challenges
In spite of its efforts at improving upon the living conditions of the people, the assembly has to deal with issues of revenue leakages, apathy from rate payers, inadequate revenue personnel, poor inflow of revenues from public toilet operators, inadequate support to zonal councils to assist IGF drive, poor monitoring and supervision of revenue personnel, inadequate public education, among others.

“We need to holistically delve into these if we are to make remarkable progress in the collection of the IGF,” he said.

Dr Owusu-Acheampong recommended that after the expiry of the contractual agreement between the public toilet managers and the assembly in July this year, the assembly should mandate the zonal councils to supervise and monitor toilet facilities to ensure prompt payments.

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