Give Accra fiscal autonomy – Mayor
For the city of Accra to be counted among renowned cities like New York and London, Ghana’s national capital must be given fiscal autonomy, Mayor Alfred Vanderpuije has proposed.
“If we really meant the operation of district assemblies then let’s do it right. At 59 [years], Accra as one of the major, oldest cities in West Africa and Africa, should be able to run by itself.
“Accra should not depend on central government for common fund. Two things must happen – and I was so glad when the president mentioned it in the State of the Nation Address because I have advocated that many times. What need to happen right now in the administration of our country is to give Accra the free financial hand to operate,” Mr Vanderpuije told Class91.3fm’s Executive Breakfast Show host Ekow Mensah-Shalders on Tuesday March 8.
In his view, “one thing that needs to happen is that we must allow municipal bonding. That is what all cities of the world, today, do. Let’s flow municipal bonds. In other words, let Accra use its ability to raise its own money and take Accra off the national budget. Do it to the eight metropolitan assemblies and tell them: ‘Look, you are on your own.’ Allow them to float municipal bonds and they must pay for it by themselves, not national government. Let them use their resources and wealth to create capital to run their cities.”
A municipal bond is a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures. They are normally exempt from local taxes.
Municipal bonds may be used to fund expenditures such as the construction of highways, bridges or schools. In the US, for example, municipal bonds are bought for their favourable tax implications, and are popular with people in high income tax brackets.