Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, Executive Director of Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) said the country loses GHc5.6 billion annually in tax revenue due to corruption.
He said government had been unable to meet the transfer five per cent of the national revenue to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as the District Assemblies’ Common Fund required by law due to corruption practice in the country.
He said this during regional dialogue on local revenue generation and also launching of internally generated funds (IGF) compendium in Tamale.
The event, organised by GDCA in collaboration with Northern Regional Tax Justice Coalition and beneficiary districts of the Empowerment for Life Programme, was to share the content of a compendium of best practices and challenges in the mobilisation of local revenue compiled by GDCA.
Alhaji Abdel-Rahman said as a country, the availability of resources was key for any successful decentralisation process.
He said the tenets of local government system were to raise internal revenue to complement transfers from central government, which had been fraught with a lot of challenges bedevilling the processes.
He added that due to the challenges, GDCA had been engaged with interventions aimed at helping to increase MMDAs’ IGF while reducing revenue leakages.
He also talked about IGF compendium, which was also launched as part of the event, saying it was developed in support of the desire to increase IGF in the country’s MMDAs.
Mr Philip Gmabi, Technical Advisor, Policy and Governance at GDCA advised MMDAs to use revenue management software in their revenue generation to address the challenges.
He said MMDAs should adopt electronic payment systems to reduce cash payments to enhance accountability and transparency.
He added that MMDAs should also improve community outreach efforts for citizens to better understand internal revenue mobilisation and utilisation processes.
Mr Mahamoud Haruna, the Regional Budget Analyst at Northern Regional Coordination Council urged the citizenry to participate in monitoring the collection of revenue in their MMDAs to enhance accountability.
He also advised citizens to pay their taxes to promote development.