Eric K. Amoh, GNA
Tamale, Jan. 24, GNA - The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has charged members of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TaMA) to make Revenue mobilisation cardinal in its deliberations and widen the revenue net through prudent decisions.
She further charged the Assembly to consider critical local level structural developments and introduce stringent measures to halt all unauthorised developments sited in areas proned to natural disasters and posing risks to residents.
The Minister charged the Assembly Members when she inaugurated them to administer the works of the Assembly for the next four years.
The Assembly, which had 41 elected members, 18 government appointees and two Members of Parliament and the Chief Executive Officer as ex-officio members, runs a 62-member Assembly.
There is huge task ahead of the Assembly to mobilise revenue, considering the enormous revenue generation challenges confronting it, having battled revenue collections last year to get the business community to pay rates.
Hajia Mahama advised the Assembly to explore more avenues for revenue generation to offer employable opportunities to the teeming unemployed youth in the Metropolis. “To this end, I invite you to take advantage of automation and other innovative systems developed by the Ministry to improve your IGF. This can be achieved if street naming and property addressing is pursued rigorously.”
She directed the Assembly to work closely with the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission to have ratable property in their jurisdiction and devise special client sensitive approaches to mobilise the rates devoid of challenges to the revenue payer. “As you grow your IGF, it should be possible to increase allowances paid to members”, she added.
She conceded that one major challenge confronting Assemblies was the unplanned, haphazard development. “Slums being developed in marshy areas, and houses built on waterways, have become phenomenal with serious implications to national development and public safety”.
She encouraged the Assembly members to be innovative and work with the various town and country planning bodies to streamline the unauthorized siting of structures. “As you are sworn in today, work with your Assembly to ensure compliance with the building rules and regulations on the zoning and development of lands” she added.
She referred the Assembly members to section of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), which enjoins the Assembly to manage and improve on human settlements and the environment, and charged the Assembly to enforce its by-laws on sanitation and the management of the environment to prevent environmental related hazards.
The Local Government Minister urged the Assembly to work in a diversified and commercially oriented agriculture sector with strong linkages to industry and market, to generate employment to address rural poverty in the area.
She encouraged the Assembly Members to actively participate in the deliberations of the house and contribute positively to enhance the welfare of residents in the Metropolis.
The elected and appointed Assembly Members of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly were sworn in by Mr Justice Osei Kwame Gyemfi, a high court judge in Tamale, after administering them to the oaths of office, secrecy and allegiance.