The Bono Regional Minister, Mrs. Evelyn Kumi Richardson, has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to outsource aspects of their revenue collection to private companies.
This, she noted, will among others help MMDAs to reduce the incidence of revenue leakage so as to maximise internally generated funds (IGF) to aid development.
Poor mobilisation drives and revenue leakage have been taking a toll on the IGF of most Assemblies, hence them relying heavily on central government’s external funding and donor supports for socioeconomic initiatives.
The Regional Minister was answering a question by the B&FT about any strategic plan to enhance revenue mobilisation during her maiden media interaction, held in Sunyani. Mrs. Richardson is the immediate past Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Sunyani; she was elevated following the creation of Bono East and Ahafo Regions out of the previous Brong Ahafo Region.
She announced that a Canadian waste management firm is in negotiation with government to establish a plant in Sunyani. The company is expected to collect all solid waste in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions for processing into useful products; it will help improve the sanitation situation in the regions and also enhance the Assemblies’ revenue.
Answering questions about her vision for the tourism sector, the minister said the Bono Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) will collaborate with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to identify, promote and seek support from the investment community to develop all ecotourism sites within the Bono enclave.
Most of the notable tourist sites – including the Kintampo Waterfalls, Fulla Waterfalls and Buaben-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary – are now in the jurisdiction of Bono East, and it behoves authorities in Bono Region to scan around for potential sites if they really want to leverage ecotourism to bolster economic growth.
Comparatively, Bono Region has a competitive advantage to develop its hospitality sub-sector. Towns like Sunyani, Berekum, Wenchi and Dormaa-Ahenkro have virtually all the features, such as a serene environment, to attract investors. To this end, the Regional Minister expressed her commitment to impressing upon the twelve District Assemblies to create the required enabling environment to make Bono the preferred destination for potential hospitality investors.
She emphasised that leveraging agricultural development as a strategic tool to fast-track socioeconomic transformation, especially among rural poor, will be a priority for her administration; stressing that “my vision is obviously tied into the President’s broader vision for agriculture. I will make sure we capitalise on initiatives like the Planting for Food and Jobs, and Planting for Export and Rural Development to better the lives of people in the region”.
When asked about the status of the ‘One District, One Warehouse’ policy, meant to deal with the perennial issue of post-harvest losses, she said: “I’m reliably informed that currently about four warehouses in Sunyani, Dormaa-Ahenkro, and Berekum are ready for use”.