The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) through the implementation of Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project (TCSPP) has organized a breakfast meeting with the business community on Municipal Rates and Fees. The meeting forms part of activities under the project to sensitize rate payers on the various types and processes of fixing the annual rates and fees paid by businesses, property owners, individuals and those who flout the Assembly’s bye-laws.

Participants for the meeting were drawn from both large, medium and small-scale business operators in the Metropolis as well as selected heads of department of the Assembly. The participants were taken through the legal framework for the charging of rates and fees, the Assembly’s revenue sources, revenue performance, utilization of funds, strategies to improve revenue performance as well as challenges in the mobilization process.

In his presentation, Mr. Fred Nyantekyie of the Budget and Rating Department said that STMA is unable to meet the numerous developmental requests from the citizenry due to insufficient internally generated funds and erratic releases of funds from the central government. He added that unrealistic charges and payment of rate and fees have over the years been one of the reasons for the Assembly’s inability to achieve its revenue targets. He therefore stated that the meeting is among several engagements outlined to sensitize and solicit stakeholders input on the strategies to gradually adjust rates and fees to acceptable levels, widen the existing database of rate payers and improve the revenue collection process.

The Metro Coordinating Director, Mr. John Nana Owu underscored the critical role of the business community in the Assembly’s quest to achieve its mandate. He noted that the businesses community contributes significantly to the Assembly’s revenue performance and that, the Assembly considers them as critical development partners. He assured business operators in the Metropolis of the Assembly’s commitment to ensure that they undertake their operations in a friendly environment.

Mr. Musa Adamu, a participant applauded the Assembly for the meeting and requested that more of such engagements must be organized for other stakeholders to understand the Assembly’s mandate. He noted that “the citizenry will understand the Assembly more and contributes their quota with constant engagements and interactions”.