Participants at a revenue mobilization workshop in the Zabzugu District have expressed worry about the interference of some political leaders in revenue mobilisation and the resultant low revenue generation.
They said some people still do not see the need to pay levies and fines to the Assembly and this has led to low revenue generation in the district.
Some revenue collectors also recounted instances where political party leaders would call and instruct them to exempt certain individuals from payment of levies to the Assembly.
They said at a two-day workshop organized by the Zabzugu District Assembly at Zabzugu aimed at finding ways of improving revenue mobilization in the district.
The participants included market women, drivers, representatives of political parties, assembly members and revenue collectors amongst others.
They suggested that the Assembly provide proper identification for tax collectors, truthfulness and trust on the parts of collectors as well as proper usage and accountability on the parts of the Assembly among others to ensure improvement in domestic revenue mobilization.
Mr Peter Owusu Frimpong, Northern Regional Budget Officer, the facilitator at the workshop, said it is mandatory for every citizen, organization or agency to pay their taxes to help the assemblies carry out developmental projects in their areas.
He said only the assemblies and hospitals were permitted under the laws to use the amount of money generated locally for their operations.
He said “this provision of the law means that if you the citizens and residents of Zabzugu District support your Assembly to generate enough revenue locally, it is to your own benefit or advantage”.
Mr Cyprian Douchebe, Zabzugu District Coordinating Director, who addressed participants on behalf of the District Chief Executive, said due to poor revenue generation, many assemblies have become virtually dependent on the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and other donor funds for their development activities.
He said the Zabzugu District was blessed with adequate local revenue sources, which were not being fully tapped and the workshop was very timely to help address the low domestic revenue mobilisation challenge.
He expressed appreciation to Oxfam and NORSAAC for their support in various ways to the Zabzugu District Assembly helping to promote development.
A communiqué released at the end of the workshop captured certain rights and responsibilities on the parts of all stakeholders including the assembly, revenue collectors, citizens and other residents and business owners.
The citizens called on the assembly to fix certain challenges in the market, which included lighting and sheds among other demands.
It also included the formation of an inter-party taskforce to support the Assembly’s revenue mobilization drive.