Ofori-Atta urges MMDAs to adhere to set measures to safeguard public funds

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has charged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to embrace the Tax Revenue for Economic enhancement (TREE) project to boost revenue generation.

This, he said, would help government undertake developmental projects and reduce pressures on the consolidated funds.

This was contained in a statement read on his behalf at the launch of the project Cape Coast on Wednesday.

The project, funded by the Netherlands government seeks to improve internal and external revenue generation of the 32 MMDAs in the central, western and Ashanti regions over the next four years.

It is also to increase the sustainability of internally generated funds through communications, process refinement, legal capacity building and in IT in order to improve the delivery of basic services to citizens.

Mr Ofori-Atta stated that the project has come at an opportune time and therefore expects all 32 selected beneficiary MMDAs to be diligent in the implementation of the project as its success has wider implications beyond their local jurisdiction.

He promised to ensure that the knowledge gained from the TREE project is shared with the other MMDAs that were not selected so that the capacity of their in mobilising local revenue is more comprehensive throughout the country.

The Minister urged MMDAs to also take cognisance of the current reforms in the management of public funds and adhere to measures that have been instituted to ensure that public funds are not misappropriated.

He called on public officers to have a high sense of responsibility for public funds to help rebuild public trust and realise the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.

Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, emphasized the need for individuals to develop a positive attitude towards timeliness and the judicious use of state resources to help build a vibrant economy that is not dependent on foreign aid and charity.

He entreated all participants to approach the exercise with all commitment and seriousness for a common quest of building a nation beyond aid.

Mr. Duncan applauded the pragmatic efforts by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as well as the Local Government Service for the policy initiatives to rake in more revenue.

Head of Local Government, Nana Ato Arthur indicated that the comprehensive implementation of the TREE project will enable the MMDAs become autonomous.

Nana Ato Arthur further added that this will ensure an organised local tax administration, a taxpayer communication and service delivery that will eliminate structural, administrative and systematic inefficiencies that hinder MMDAS ability to realise their full potential in local revenue mobilisation.

He also challenged the MMDAs to take advantage of the project to step up their revenue base.

By Adwoa Adobea-Owusu||Ghana

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