Alhaji Amidu Sulemani, Upper West Regional Minister, has appealed to District Assemblies to set high but realistic revenue targets that would put them on their toes to double their revenues to progress their areas.
He said the setting up of low revenue targets would not have a significant impact on the development of their areas even if they were achieved.
However, the achievement of high pragmatic targets would enable them to meet the development needs of the communities under their jurisdictions, he said.
Alhaji Sulemani made the appeal, in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy, Dr Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, during the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Lambussie-Karni District Assembly at Lambussie in the Upper West Region.
He appealed to district assemblies to identify every potential revenue source and how much each of the sources could generate in terms of revenue to enable them to set meaningful targets.
The Regional Minister, however, commended the secretariat of the Assembly and stakeholders for collecting GH₵70,787.34 out of a targeted revenue of GH₵110,000.00, representing 64.35 per cent, as of the end of August 2014, in Internally Generated Funds (IGF).
He appealed to stakeholders, especially traditional rulers and assembly members, to support the secretariat of the Assembly to mobilize the needed revenue to accelerate the district’s development agenda.
Alhaji Sulemani expressed his worry that the over-dependence of District Assemblies on the Common Fund (DACF) for development activities had affected the pace of development in most districts resulting in rolled over projects with apparent higher cost.
This, he said, called for renewed efforts to generate enough revenue for development activities with the Common Fund serving only as a supplement.
He said the road network in the district was deplorable and announced that the Hamile – Gwollu road had been awarded on contract for upgrading and when the project was completed it would drastically reduce travel time and facilitate the movement of goods and services between the district and the Sissala West District.
Mr. Bom Kofi Dy-yaka, Lambussie-Karni District Chief Executive (DCE), noted that though the financial performance of the Assembly had been encouraging some measures, including effective supervision and the installation of property rates software to improve realistic rates, were being considered.
The DCE announced that a total amount of GH₵175,753.33 was received by the Assembly as its share of the Common Fund for the fourth quarter of 2013 after statutory deductions.
He said that the funds had since been used to support programmes and projects in accordance with the budget estimates for the year 2013.
Mr. Dy-yaka announced that the Assembly had recorded a significant improvement in its general performance, having scored 96 per cent in the 2013 Functional Organizational Assessment Tool (FOAT) exercise, the second highest score in the district.
He said with this remarkable achievement, the district was sure of its share of the District Development Fund, a major revenue path that would help them solve the development challenges confronting the people. GNA