NORSAAC to help assemblies increase revenue

By
Albert Futukpor, GNA

Sagnarigu (N/R), Oct. 19, GNA – A project to
empower citizens to support their assemblies to mobilize revenue as well as
monitor how the revenues are spent has begun in the Northern Region.

The project dubbed: “Citizens’ for Domestic
Revenue Mobilization” (C4DRM), is being implemented at Sagnarigu Municipality
and the Zabzugu District by NORSAAC, a civil society organization.

Madam Hafsatu Sey Sumani, Head of Programmes
and Policy at NORSAAC, who discussed the project at its inception meeting with
officials of the Sagnarigu Municipality at Sagnarigu, said the capacity of some
youth and women groups would be built to ensure the success of the project.

The meeting was to present the details of the
project to the officials of the Assembly amongst other stakeholders and
strategize on the way forward towards its effective implementation.

The C4DRM began in September and will span for
a period of one and a half years and may be extended for a five-year period.

Its intention is to support the two assemblies
to develop strong revenue mobilization strategies to enhance their pro-poor
development funding, and will eventually mobilize citizens’ groups with young
women leaders to mobilize revenues.

The citizens’ groups will be given basic
budget advocacy skills and it is envisaged that once they are involved in
raising revenue, such groups will be able to influence how such resources are
invested in pro-poor services that benefit them such as health, education and
small-holder agriculture.

Sagnarigu and Zabzugu assemblies, like other
assemblies, have three sources of funding, which include central government
disbursements, donor grants, which are regular but inadequate and internally
generated funds (IGFs), which are to be a major source of funding support for
their operations.

The IGFs’ sources include fees, licenses, and
rates but poor data, inadequate personnel and revenue leakages amongst others
at the assemblies contribute to low IGF mobilization to support development
initiatives.

Madam Sumani said there is need for assemblies
to showcase what they do with revenues to whip up interest in the citizenry to
honour their tax obligations.

She said the project would empower the
citizenry at the two assemblies to monitor their projects to promote
accountability whiles encouraging the citizenry to also pay the various levies
charged by the assemblies.

She said the involvement of various interest
groups at the assemblies would help ensure the sustainability of the project to
address the revenue gaps whiles delivering pro-poor development initiatives to
address the needs of the people.

Mr Mahamud Haruna, Sagnarigu Municipal Budget
Analyst, lauded the project as it would help increase the assembly’s revenue to
be able to deliver development projects to the citizenry.

He said the assembly has a lot of revenue
streams but inadequate personnel amongst other challenges have led to poor
domestic revenue mobilization, which was affecting its operations.

GNA

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