Bad news for TaMA; uptick in public expenditure is made worse by a drop in revenue.

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A 2016 report by the Auditor General has revealed that the Internal Generated Funds (IGF) of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly(TaMA) has a shortfall of 1.2 million Ghana cedis. It dropped from 2.6 million Ghana cedis to 1.4 million Ghana cedis, a drop of 1.2 million.

The short fall apparently pales in comparison to total revenues brought in by the Assembly in 2015, the reports indicated. Total IGF for 2015 amounted to Gh1,523,597.07. Total revenue went up by Gh3 million from Gh17 million and increased exponentially to 20 million Ghana cedis.

But just as revenue increased almost two fold, so did expenditure for the fiscal year 2015. The TaMA expenditure that year ballooned from Gh8.9 9million to Gh18 million, an increase of almost 100% from 2014. The assembly attributed the sharp uptick in expenditure to the GUMP project which came with urban grants.

Metropolitan Chief Executive,  Mr. Iddrisu Musah Superior, said the funds were used in the construction of storm drains, markets, bus terminals and an abbatoir.

Chairman of Public Accounts Committee of parliament,  Mr. James Klutse Avedzi demanded explanations for the cause of the drop during its sitting in Tamale.
A finance officer at TaMA, told the committee that the drop was due to the major development that took place at the Tamale central and the Aboabu markets.

He explained that traders were evacuated to pave way for new structures to be constructed and that affected the revenue generation of the assembly. Another area that affected TaMA revenue were bill boards. In 2016, the assembly on an exercise to get rid of bill boards erected in the wrong places, the finance officer explained. All bill boards are charged for  fee except those that gives directions to public places and institutions.

A deputy director at TaMA, Mr.Ahmed Abdul Rahman, told the committee that revenue has improved. The assembly, he said, realized over Gh 1, 608, 000 one million. Gh 90, 686.99 in 2017 as against Gh1.4 million in 2016.

The assembly's new strategy is to improve revenue generation, Mr Abdul Rahman said and added that all revenue collectors have been given a target in 2018. He further added that the assembly has also outsourced difficult revenue points to private companies in addition to embarking on data collection of all businesses operating within the metropolis. On property rate, Mr Abdul Rahman said valuation of properties remains a major challenge.

A member of the committee and MP for Komenda Edina Abirem constituency in the central region, Mr. Samuel Atta Mills. reminded city authorities to be wary of fast developing trends.

Mr Mills suggested to TaMA to get their fee fixing resolution ready rather then waiting for all buildings to be valued. An amount can be a starting point like their counterparts in East Legon and Accra Metropolitan Assembly are doing, Mr Mills said.

The committee has since left Tamale for Sunyani to examine Auditor General 2015-2016 report on Monday February 19,2018.

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