Mobilising internally generated funds to finance development projects in Ghana’s Northern Region
This paper assesses the effectiveness of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana’s Northern Region in mobilising internally generated funds (IGF) to finance development projects. The study gathered both primary and secondary data from three MMDAs: Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, Yendi Municipal Assembly and Saboba District Assembly. It employed a multi-stage sampling technique of questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and key informant interviews to collect data from respondents and obtain a snapshot of their situation in the 2013 fiscal year. It established that fines, property rates, licences, annual rates, investment income, permits, sales of tender documents, and business taxes were potential sources of revenue for the assemblies. Also, the study identified a range of strategies employed by assemblies to raise revenue: engagement of revenue collectors, use of a mobile revenue taskforce, registration of businesses, visits to markets and business centres, commission payments for revenue collectors, security checkpoints, incentivisation of revenue collectors, establishment of revenue collection points, and rotation of revenue collectors. Nevertheless, the study found that the MMDAs studied could not meet their IGF revenue targets for the 2013 fiscal year, with all three falling below 50%. This poor performance was attributed to: inadequate logistics to support effective IGF mobilisation; under-declaring of revenues; not enough revenue collectors; poor supervision and monitoring; poor compliance by ratepayers; corruption; political interference; inadequate knowledge and skills among revenue collectors; poor service delivery by the assemblies; ineffective collaboration; and lack of revenue data.
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