Two multi-purpose digital revenue solutions platforms that seek to plug leakages in the revenue mobilization chain locally and nationally have been launched with the aim of boosting internally-generated funds.
They are the revenue management software (dIL.Rev) and GRA rent Tax App which are government of Germany initiatives through their development agency (GIZ) which were launched in collaboration with multiple state institutions like the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ghana Revenue Authority.
It forms part of GIZ’s commitment to modernizing public administration and public finance systems while strengthening local authorities in the country by enhancing revenue mobilization capacities, particularly Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
Local government authorities have been charged to generate funds internally from a number of sources. However, over the years, they have failed in this regard and resorted to depending on funding sources from central government, particularly through the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) which defeats the whole idea of decentralization and power devolution.
This is a disturbing trend as estimates suggest only around 20% of their total budget is financed by internally generated funds (IGFs).
Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama believes the e-billing and e-payment components that reduce human contact presents a revolutionary approach to revenue mobilization at the district level.
The rent app, for instance, will aid in validating existing rental data from valuation with owner information and rental details, capture new rental details based on field verifications and automatically calculates rent tax and generate reports.
It is noteworthy that these applications will assist in no mean way to generate internally generated funds for the development of local government projects without necessarily burdening the central kitty. The success of the country’s decentralization agenda that seeks to enable local authorities to determine and fund their development priorities can only be realised when they are able to raise critical revenue to advance socio-economic development.
Ghana has embarked on this decentralization journey since the 1990s but the greatest challenge to the district assemblies is their inability to raise IGFs for local development. It is therefore hoped that the two multi-purpose digital revenue solutions platforms would greatly assist in this regard.
Government believes the surest way to alleviate poverty in the country is through decentralized governance, however, local authorities’ inability to generate internal funds hampers the local government system.
Thumbs-up to VRA on its Diamond Jubilee for monumental success!
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has described the Volta River Authority as the epitome of good management of a state institution. This is a feather-in-the cap of the Authority since not many state institutions in the country have chalked such success.
The state-owned power generator and supplier of electricity marks its 60 anniversary in April, 2021 and the Senior minister expressed his admiration for the culture of excellence in engineering practice and says the VRA should be a perfect example for state institutions to emulate.
CEO of the Authority, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa says the authority is poised to embark of digitization to drive down costs to remain competitive in this ever-changing landscape as well as, eyeing the electric car space to be a market leader.
We understand the VRA is planning to diversify its operations and expand into the renewable energy sector since such projects will significantly reduce the country’s carbon footprint and fulfill national obligations under the Paris Accord.
VRA intends to transform Akosombo township into a smart city by making it a technological hub of the country among other plans. However, what is particularly interesting is VRA’s resolve to move beyond receiving assistance from the state and become financially sufficient.
The state power generator also recognizes its obligation to ensure there is adequate, competitively-priced electricity to support government’s industrial drive as well as, social development. This is crucial as government is bent on expanding industrial development so as to be competitive, not only globally but regionally too, especially with the implementation of AfCFTA in January.
The Paper uses the opportunity to congratulate the VRA for reaching this important milestone and hope it achieves all its plans going forward so that it remains the epitome of state-owned enterprises so that it sends a signal that state entities can remain competitive and growth-oriented without compromising the principles of good corporate governance.
We hope their success propels them to higher heights and help them to remain the doyen of state entities.