Regional News Wed, 28 Feb 2007

Assemblies urged to adopt effective measures to improve revenue

Offinso (Ash), Feb 28, GNA - Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies to adopt pragmatic measures to improve their internally generated revenue.

This, he said, would complement their common fund allocation to enable them initiate more development projects to enhance the living conditions of the people.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng was addressing the Offinso District Assembly at Offinso on Tuesday as part of his two-week tour of the Ashanti Region.

He expressed concern about increasing environmental degradation through logging, bushfires and other illegal activities and advised assemblies to embark on projects that would ensure sustainable development.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng appealed to the staff of the assemblies to work as a team with assembly members to enable them deliberate on issues that would ensure development of the communities. The minister said some assemblies have been saddled with sanitation problems and told them to adopt effective measures to help improve environmental sanitation.

He said arrangements were advanced for the ministry to provide assemblies with vehicles and sanitation equipment to implement their programmes and activities.

Mr Augustine Charles Ntim, the Offinso District Chief Executive, said the assembly last year collected 1.17 billion cedis internally generated revenue representing 97 per cent.

He said the district had nursed one million seedlings of cocoa, oil palm and citrus for distribution to farmers to rehabilitate their farms.

Mr Ntim said 42,000 people have so far registered with the Offinsoman Health Insurance Scheme of which 32,000 people had paid their premiums to enable them receive health care. The DCE said the capitation grant and feeding programme have had positive impacts to the development of education in the district and that enrolment increased from 29,083 to 40,000 as at the end of last year.

During the open forum, the people said the large size of the district has impeded the development of the area and appealed to the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to divide the district into two.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng later paid a courtesy call on Nana Wiafe Akenten III, Omanhene of Offinso traditional area. He also inspected a number of development projects including the construction of rest stop at Saakamu being financed by the Ghana@50 Secretariat, construction of dormitory block for the Nkenkasu Training Centre for the Disabled at the cost of 1.2 billion cedis and Ghana Irrigation Authority project at Akomadan.
Source: GNA