Mr Robert K. Dadzie, the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Sub-Committee of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has given advertising companies; shop-owners and institutions up to Friday, October 27, to pay all debts owed the Assembly.
He said failure to do so would lead to the perpetual closeure of the offices of the defaulting companies and shops and all their advertising billboards in the metropolis would be pulled down by a special taskforce of the AMA from Saturday and Sunday with the support of the Ghana Police.
Mr Dadzie gave the ultimatum when he led his team and newsmen to embark on a revenue mobilisation exercise and to warn the companies and the shop-owners of the consequences that could befall them.
They visited Emerge Company and some shops at Osu, where some owners out of fear promptly made payment of their bills and were issued with receipts.
Mr Dadzie said the exercise was to send a strong signal to all institutions which owed the AMA to come forward and clear their debts or face sanctions as they would be surcharged for the cost in the exercise.
He said: “We started issuing bills to the institutions since last year February and we have continued to do same this year February and they are playing hide-and-seek with us and we are in October and we are left with only two months to the end of the year.”
He said as at the end of last year the Emerge Company owed the AMA to the tune of GHC 163,682.24 and “when the balance was brought forward and added to this year’s bill it totalled up to GHC210,818.24, but as at now they have not even paid a pesewa to the Assembly.”
Mr Dadzie said the Vienna City at Osu which owns two casinos also owed huge sums of debt to the Assembly, among others at East Legon and other areas and that the taskforce would pursue them to clear their indebtedness.
“As we start locking out their offices and shops, nobody can stop us unless the MCE of Accra because he has mandated us to do the work, and apart from that,we will go after whoever owe the AMA. Whether they like it or not they will have to pay the debts once they are operating businesses in the metropolis.
“These same people turn round to accuse the AMA and the government for not being responsible to their duties,” he said.
Mr Dadzie said the Assembly needed money to undertake its work, adding that “the filth in Accra and the kind of money we pay for a tonne of garbage it is not small money while companies and institutions owe us these huge amounts of debts.
The Chairman said: “The only company that have fulfilled their obligations is DDP and has as today they have paid all monies they owe the AMA and this shows the kind people who want to do business in the metropolis, but not people who will be dilly-darling with us.”
He said some people have turned themselves into “freelance advertising agents” who do not belong to any advertising association and want to play it fast on the AMA by planting all kinds of billboards in the metropolis to the disadvantage of the Assembly.
He said the AMA had observed billboards of Miss Ghana erected from the 37 roundabout to the Tetteh Quarshie inter-charge without their knowledge and the approval of the AMA and that they would go after the persons behind.