Madam Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has launched the automated digital revenue management solutions for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
The automated digital solutions is based on the District Local Revenue (dLRev), a tailor- made software solution for the Assemblies developed by Gesellschaft fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH for the Government of Ghana.
The cloud-based software is a one-stop-shop for the whole revenue management cycle of data collection, billing, revenue collection and reporting with electronic billing and payment.
The launch also include e-billing and epayment” Application and the “Rent Tax” Application and drones for the 16 regions.
Speaking at the event on Wednesday in Accra, Hajia Mahama described the dLRev as a game changer for Ghana’s local government system.
She noted that the dLRev would transform the relevant landscape of taxation.
Hajia Mahama said the dlRev Software had been developed to enable MMDAs effectively and efficiently manage and improve revenue mobilization at the local level.
She said currently, e-billing and e-payment options were being integrated into the dLRev software with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the Domestic Revenue Management Innovation Fund.
She said it was expected that the electronic billing and payment functionalities would be rolled out in the first quarter of 2021, adding that trainings, backstopping and support for MMDAs in public sensitization campaigns would also be carried out throughout 2021.
Hajia Mahama said in order to make revenue collection more systematic and secure, the dLRev software had been developed further with new features such Counterfoil Receipt (GCR) module to assign a registered receipt number to every transaction.
Adding that this was intended to assist MMDAs to reduce malpractices connected with the use of the GCRs.
She said upon request from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for a tailor made application to administer the collection of rent tax, an application with features such as validate existing rental data from valuation with owner information and rental details had been developed.
Hajia Mahama said an application had also been developed to automatically merge Valuation Rolls generated by the Land Valuation Division of Lands Commission with Street Naming and Property Addressing (SNPA) Spatial Database developed by MMDAs; stating that all valuation rolls of MMDAs henceforth included SNPA Spatial Database.
She said it was only through the sustained use of the Systems that local revenue could form a greater percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She expressed gratitude to GIZ and all development partners for their immense support and contribution towards decentralization in Ghana.
Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Acting Commissioner General, GRA, said the Authority’s Management had been presented with the first release of the dLRev Application and subsequently endorsed it for roll-out in Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area in five Offices by the end of October 2020 and subsequently to other Offices in 2021.
He said the key attraction for using the application was that, this time GRA would be able to predict the number of rental property types and proceed to prioritize collection of rent tax revenue.
He said the Authority subsequently formally requested GIZ to proceed to further develop the collection aspects of the application for the system to be fully applied to Rent Tax collections in 2021.
Mr Hans-Helge Sander, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Germany, said Germany would strengthen its partnership with Ghana as she continued to provide meaningful support aimed at improving governance systems and thereby clearing the path for truly sustainable development.
Madam Regina Bauerochse, Country Director, GIZ Ghana, said dLRev was an excellent testament to the great potential that digitisation had, not only for the mobilisation of public revenue, but for public administration and good governance generally.
Reverend Isaac Adza Tettey, Economic Planning Officer, Volta Regional Coordinating Council, who formally received a drone from the Minister on behalf of the Regional Coordinating Councils and MMDAs, said they would take good care of the Systems for the generation and management of their revenues.