Mr Simon Osei Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, has lauded the Kingdom of Netherlands' Tax Revenue for Economic Enhancement (TREE) Project, for its potential to aid the realisation of the President's Ghana beyond Aid Agenda.
He indicated that the project, funded by the Kingdom of Netherlands, is aimed at boosting the sustainability and levels of Internally Generated Funds of 33 selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembles (MMDAs), in Ashanti, Western and Central Regions of the country.
This was at a TREE project Implementation Strategy Workshop held in Kumasi.
Local government actors, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly Chief Executives (MMDCEs), community members and other stakeholders were in attendance.
Under the project which spans 2018-2022, the VNG and MAPLE Consult in the Kingdom of Netherlands, is working in partnership with the Ministries of Finance, Local Government and Rural Development as well the Local Government Services and 16 out of the 33 MMDA's, have already been selected for a pilot phase.
The Regional Minister was upbeat about the project's deployment of cutting edge strategies, to boost sustainable revenue generation and its judicious disbursement, as it tackled all the challenges undermining effective revenue mobilisation in the District Assemblies
Mr Osei Mensah, cited some of the challenges as inadequate database, leakages in the revenue mobilisation system and low citizen engagement.
"It was refreshing that the project, focussed on removing these bottlenecks to scale up revenue generation in the Assemblies, as evidenced in the successes so far chalked in the sixteen pilot MMDAs".
"This also affirms my believe that the TREE can go a long way to aid the achievement of the President's Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda".
Mr Peter Jongkind, the Project Director for VNG International, announced that the project had so far deployed three (3) major software in the first sixteen beneficiary MMDAs and they are currently being used to collect data, locate property and manage the entire revenue of the Assemblies
He called on the participants to embrace the revenue enhancement strategies the TREE project was introducing in the revenue mobilisation process of the Assemblies since it would help improve revenue and service delivery to the citizens.
Project Experts took turns to take participants through how the TREE project was using its state-of-the-art software to overcome revenue mobilisation challenges in the sixteen MMDAs.
Major success stories shared included; the deployment of three revenue mobilisation software in beneficiary Assemblies, enhancement of revenue database of the Assemblies, and TREE support in communication and citizen engagement in the MMDAs.
Participants also shared their experiences on the revenue data collection software and the TaxMan software, which made it possible for ratepayers to pay their property bills through mobile money.