Sekondi-Takoradi to undergo transformation

The assembly members at the meeting

The assembly members at the meeting

The Chief Executive Officer for Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Anthony K.K. Sam, has stressed the Assembly’s resolve to improve revenue, as the twin-city gears up to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), for redevelopment into a modern city.

Mr. Sam who said this on Wednesday during the first ordinary meeting of the second session of the 7th Assembly, added that, “Revenue is the blood of any modern city.”

He said: “We, as managers of this city, have to generate enough revenue to improve education, health, sports, sanitation and other projects. I am, therefore, going to champion a revolutionary drive to increase revenue by 50 per cent by 2019.”

Mr. Sam told the members that the Assembly would introduce modern technology into revenue generation and management, under a public-private partnership (PPP) programme, adding that already, some companies had submitted their proposals.

He, therefore, sought the mandate of the Revenue Mobilisation and Sub Committee on Finance and Administration (F&A) and the Management Committee, to make recommendations.

According to Mr. Sam, STMA set a target of GH₵7,975,115.99 for 2017 and reported that, at the end of the first quarter, GH₵2,339,974.38, representing 29.34 per cent, had been collected.

“In efforts to improve performance in revenue generation, the Assembly concentrated on bill distribution and by the end of the first quarter, we had distributed 86 per cent of the bills. With this performance, it is expected that we will meet our targets, by close of the year. That notwithstanding, we need to do more to mobilise enough resources to meet our development agenda,” he added.

Sekondi-Takoradi, he said, required re-engineering as the metropolis had outgrown its original plans drawn by the colonialists, stressing that “some buildings are now a nuisance and impede modern development.”

Spaces reserved for leisure and recreation, Mr.Sam noted, had been illegally taken over by  developers, while wetlands reserved as natural receptacles had been encroached  upon, adding that “ceremonial streets are now flanked  by temporary structures taking away the beauty of the metropolis.

“This is a metropolis that will continue to grow in the years ahead. And the growing population makes it a potential focal point of vulnerability to environmental decadence. It is time to redevelop the metropolis. We need this to attract development, commerce and residents in order to create quality urban environment that is a vital and dynamic place to work, play and live. The Ministry of Inner City Development will surely support us,” he said.

The MCE told the House that steps to ensure discipline and redevelopment of   the city included the demolishing of unauthorised structures on ceremonial streets and the enforcement of bye laws on streets hawking and other commercial activities.

These measures, he believed, would bring sanity into the metropolis.

He continued: “Well-functioned cities are critical for economic development. And there is enough evidence that controlled urbanisation has been an important source of dynamism that has led to enhanced productivity and  increased  incomes in rapidly emerging economies.Change always comes with challenges. But it also comes with new ideas and innovations and those who are able to adapt will never regret going for change,” Mr. Sam stated.

Mr. Sam reported that a consultant had been engaged to redesign the city and encouraged members to make suggestions for the preparation of the final document, for adaptation and implementation.

Investors, he said, were waiting to invest in major projects and, therefore, the Assembly would need to hurry up with the plans.

“We will like to transform Airport, Beach Road, Windy Ridge, Essikado Ridge, European Town, Sekondi Ridge, Race Course, Mount Zion, and Anaji Namibia into modern towns,” adding that, the Assembly would soon be engaging the residents associations of the towns to discuss the issue.

Mr. Sam announced that the first week in July, had been chosen for investors’ forum, stating that the committee will soon brief the House on the details.

This, he explained, was in line with the government’s plans to attract foreign direct investment to the twin city to “promote greater integration with the global economy.”

From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi

 

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