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STMA Launches New Digital Platforms to Improve Revenue Collection

The Sekondi-Ta­koradi Metropol­itan Assembly (STMA) in the Western Region, has launched two new digital platforms, to help improve revenue collection.

Under the urban governance project of the Twin Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project, STMA hopes to ensure a seamless revenue collection for both busi­nesses and the assembly.

Speaking at a media briefing at Sekondi yesterday, the Twin Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project Visibility Officer, John Laste, not­ed that the initiative came at a time STMA was unable to get central government’s funds to carry out required development and also improve the lives of people in the communities.

Besides, STMA he said was faced with challenges, including leakages, high human interface, unreliable database, inadequate logistics for revenue staff, poor tracking of new economic activi­ties and insufficient education on taxation.

Mr Laste said the intervention would curb the challenges and contribute significantly to the realisation of projected Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to enable the assembly to fulfill its develop­ment agenda.

He reported that, over the years, the deficits in STMA’s IGF had become a huge problem.

Mr Laste cited that financial per­formance from 2018 to 2021 on Medium Term Development Plan on IGF as at March, 2021, showed that out of the total budget esti­mate of GH¢44,448,505.00, total receipts was GH¢27,322,668.17.

Additionally, on financing of 2022-2025 MTDP, he indicated that estimated cost of the plan was GH¢3,136,156,495 and out of that IGF was GH¢77,825,910, leaving gap of GH¢2,408,330,585.

Mr Laste noted that “central funding is not reliable and so we have to improve our data on non-performing areas like business operating permits and collect rev­enue and with this, we can expand, increase, improve our revenues, reduce the human elements and also block the leakages.”

He said the revenue campaign would build the capacity of authorities and stakeholders, to improve accountability and good governance.

He said the campaigns would tackle revenue sources, account­ability, utilisation of funds and payment channels.

The digital platforms, Mr Laste assured, would also help in build­ing credible database of businesses within the metropolis, adding that “we are also developing an e-governance policy to guide the operations of the platform.”

Senior Budget Analyst, Budget and Rating Department of STMA, Mr Fred Nyantekyi, said the digital platforms would complement ex­isting mode of payment, including bank and cheques transfers.

He urged businesses to sign on to the platforms to promote accountability in the collection of revenue, block leakages and advance financial governance.

Source : Business Ghana