24th May 2024

Henry Quartey

The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development has held a national validation workshop to finalise the draft Fee-Fixing Guidelines for levying rates in assemblies.

The document will streamline fees, permits and charges of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), in their respective jurisdictions, in fulfillment of Section 150 of the Local Governance Act, Act 936.

Pursuant to this provision, the Ministry issued Fee-Fixing Guidelines (FFG) in 2017, which became operational for a four-period from 2018 to 2021.

 

Almost due to expire by the end of 2021, it has become necessary for a new FFG, which would subsequently guide MMDAs to levy rates and fees for the next four years beginning from 2022-2025, hence the validation workshop.

The key areas within the Fee-Fixing Guidelines, which formed the basis for the deliberations, include licences, permits, fees, fines, rates, rent and investment.

 

The draft FFG contains a scientific formula for annual rate of increase of fees in the MMDAs and also has all the revenue sources as stated in the Local Governance Act 2016, (Act 936) and financial memoranda for MMDAs.

 

Validation

In a speech read for him, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, said the FFG had already been validated at the regional level in Kumasi, Tamale, and Koforidua for the Middle, Northern and Southern Zones, in that order.

This shows the extent to which the MLGDRD is deepening the level of consultation among stakeholders to ensure that suggestions from a cross-section of stakeholders are factored into the FFG, he said.

The Deputy Local Government Minister, Mr O.B Amoah, said with the re-introduction of the FFG in 2017, there had been a serene regime of harmonised rates levied by MMDAs across the country.

According to him, the standardisation had brought to the fore new revenue items to MMDAs and achieved the goal of aiding them improve their local planning to increase revenue generation.

He said the FFG however, should serve as reference book for all MMDAs in the determination of all revenue items, the need to charge basis and not forgetting the verifier to the fees and charges by local Assemblies to the ratepayer.

Mr Amoah said the current review of the FFG commenced with all the relevant stakeholder engagements and entreated participants to carefully consider the major changes and make the necessary commission and omissions to the final draft document.

He expressed gratitude to the German Government and the Ministry of Finance for their immense and continuous support in deepening local governance and decentralisation over the years.

 

Pledge

Representative of Ministry of Finance, pledged their continuous support to initiatives towards improving revenue mobilisation in the country.

He said beyond finalising the FFG, there was the need to invest in building data on the rateable revenue items, and strengthen the Area Councils and the Unit Committees to support the revenue mobilization drive.

Related to this is the adoption of the requisite technology and innovative approaches to enhance the revenue base of MMDAs particularly in the midst of COVID-19, he stated.

 

 

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