Tema, April 13, GNA – Last year was quite challenging for the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) as far as its financial performance was concerned, Mr Robert Kempes Papa Nii Ofosuware, Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) has said.
Speaking at the first ordinary meeting of the third session of the sixth assembly of TMA, he explained that the creation of the Kpone-Katamanso District Assembly and boundary disputes with some sister assemblies, significantly affected TMA’s revenue mobilisation efforts.
He said, as a result, the Assembly was able to collect GH¢17,366,828.26 of its total revenue instead of GH¢22,267,957.79.
Additionally, he said, out of the Internal Generated Funds of GH¢10,424,981.00 budgeted for in 2012, the Assembly was able to collect GH¢8,285,622.00.
The MCE pledged the Assembly’s determination to improve its revenue collection for this year, and disclosed that it was in serious talks with Ship owners and Agent Association of Ghana, to maximize revenue from that sector.
He cautioned that the Assembly would not tolerate any malfeasance on the part of revenue collectors, task force, building inspectors, and public health inspectors, among others.
‘We will intensify our monitoring and supervisory role, and tighten internal controls, to ensure that revenue collectors and accountants are doing their work diligently, and also that expenditure is kept within limits,’ he said.
Mr Ofosuware said the Assembly would continuously engage rate payer groups and associations in consultative meetings, provide training and logistics for revenue collectors, prosecute recalcitrant late payers, and continue to educate the public on the need to honour their rate obligations to TMA.
On education, the MCE assured the Metro Education Directorate that the Assembly would continue to improve teaching and learning through the provision of the needed and necessary facilities.
Touching on sanitation, the Tema Mayor admitted that improving environmental sanitation and waste management remained a big challenge for the Assembly, due to the poor attitudes of residents, and their indiscriminate dumping of refuse and littering.
He urged assembly members to educate residents in their various electoral areas on the need to adopt good sanitary practices.
The MCE said the Environmental Health Department of the Assembly had outlined some measures to help reduce the insanitary condition within the Metropolis.
These, he said, include intensifying monitoring, supervision and premises inspection to abate nuisance; educating and medically screening and issuing certificates to food vendors; issuing environmental sanitation permits to industries and hotels; de-rating the various markets and environs; and issuing notices to light industrial area garage owners to provide sanitary facilities for their premises, landowners to provide toilet facilities and shop-owners to provide bins.
On health, Mr Ofosuware said the Assembly had partnered the health directorate to help improve healthcare delivery in the Metropolis.
The Assembly, he added, would procure some theatre equipment for the Tema General Hospital and the Tema Polyclinic, as well as provide delivery equipment for the TMA Maternity and Children’s Clinic.
Turning to boundary disputes with surrounding districts, the Tema Mayor said the issue of boundary disputes with sister assemblies had really bothered TMA for some time now, as it was gradually becoming a threat to the assembly’s revenue mobilisation efforts.
On roads, Mr Ofosuware said the Roads Unit would continue with routine maintenance works, especially desilting and cleaning kerbs and drains, maintaining green areas, grading and graveling selected roads, and patching potholes.
The Unit, he added, would undertake new periodic projects, which would include walkway construction, resealing, upgrading and gravelling of selected roads.
Touching on food security, the MCE said the Assembly in collaboration with the department of agriculture, was working to provide effective, efficient and timely, technical support on good agricultural practices and agri-businesses to enhance food security.
He commended the Tema branch of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for embarking on a massive sensitization and educational outreach programme throughout the Metropolis to create the necessary awareness on disaster risk reduction in schools, markets, communities and beaches.
On the School Feeding Programme, the MCE said since its inception in the Metropolis in 2006, the programme in 2012 expanded to cover 90 schools with an enrolment of 35,398. It also provided employment to 76 caterers and about 200 cooks.
He said the major challenge of the School Feeding Programme in the Metropolis was the non-payment of caterers.
The MCE reminded members of the Assembly that the enhancement of the corporate image of the Assembly was a shared responsibility and therefore, urged them to live above reproach since their actions and inactions impacted negatively or positively on the Assembly.