The Local Government Service Secretariat (LGSS) with support from the Local Government Capacity Support Project (LGCSP) is organizing a series of two-day training workshops for one hundred and fifty (150) key officers of the 46 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) participating in the LGCSP. The training on Internally Generated Fund (IGF) Mobilization and Management Strategies begun on Monday 4th September and ended on Friday 16th September, 2016 in all the four zones across the country would enhance revenue mobilisation efforts of the Assemblies.
Workshop participants included Co-ordinating Directors, Finance Officers, Budget Officers and Revenue Officers. MMAs in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Brong Ahafo Regions attended their training in Tamale while those in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions were at Ejisu. Other MMAs in Western and Central Regions met at Elmina while the Greater Accra and Volta Regions gathered at Ho.
The objectives of the workshop were to; optimize the management of IGF within the broad framework of the Public Financial Management, sharpen the skills of key Assembly staff to improve their outputs in IGF collection and management. The attention of participants were also drawn to Government reform processes for identification of alternative revenue sources. The training was facilitated by experts from Multiple Linkages Consult.
In opening the workshop at the various zones, the Director of Policy, Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPBME) at the LGSS, Mr. Gregory Addah said, the Secretariat as part of its mandate under the project, had identified a number of training needs in the five (5) public financial management areas and had delivered these trainings to sharpen the skills of key MMAs staff to deliver on their mandate. He said going forward the Secretariat had made arrangements to roll out the various training in the PFM areas to non-participating Municipal and District Assemblies.
During the two-day programme, participants were treated to presentations by seasoned Public Servants and Private Practitioners on areas including Thematic Areas of IGF Optimization, Revenue Mobilization and Collection, Revenue Utilization and Service Delivery, Citizens Rights and Responsibilities, Challenges for Non-performance of Revenue Items, Legal, Institutional, Administrative, and Capacity Dimensions to Challenges, Communication and Information Sharing to Enhance Local Revenue Administration. The questions and answers sessions after each presentation offered participants opportunity to seek clarifications and explanations on issues discussed.
In wrapping up the training session, Mr. Jonathan Azasoo, one of the facilitators said, improvement of local tax base, enhanced collection operations, citizens engagement, reduced collection cost, computerization of database, enforcement system, logistics support, motivation, leadership commitment and reduction of political interference in revenue mobilization were essential factors for enhancing IGF operations.
In closing the workshop, the Director, PPBME at the LGSS, Mr. Gregory Addah said, some of the challenges identified by participants were marginal and until a certain level of literacy had been attained in the country as a whole, some of these issues would persist.
He advised Co-ordinating Directors to support their revenue staff with computer literacy training programmes to make them more efficient. On behalf of the Head of the Local Government Service and the Chief Director of the LGSS, he thanked participants for making it a duty to attend that all important training programme.