The Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly over the weekend held a public forum with traders and heads of business entities at the Tip-toe Lane at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra.
The traders included new and used clothing, phones and phone accessories, shoes sellers and food vendors.
It forms part of the assembly’s programme dubbed “MCE Community Engagement” intended to create a platform for the assembly to share its developmental achievement with the participants while giving opportunity to the people to table their concerns, suggestions and challenges.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Mohammed Quaye in an address said the assembly was obliged by the statutory provision in the Local Government Act 2016 (Act 936) to allocate time and discuss issues of development in the electoral areas.
Outlining some of the functions of the assembly on revenue generation, he said the assembly was mandated to generate revenue in the form of property rates, permit fees and licences to complement the District Assembly Common Fund for development.
Alhaji Quaye charged property owners in the municipality to pay their yearly property rates imposed and collected only by the assembly to boost the developmental efforts of the assembly.
He said a Client Service and Complaints Desk exist at the assembly where members of the public can lodge complaints which management is mandated to work on within a stipulated time.
On General Permits, the MCE said it was mandatory that every business operator and owner register and pay the Business Operating Permits, licences and fees to the assembly regularly.
He implored participants to put much premium on the payment of their Business Operating Permits to the assembly which he said the assembly uses for a variety of development projects.
Mr Quaye mentioned projects such as schools, streets, drains among others were executed using such monies supplemented with government funds, adding that though what they were paying was not consistent with the massive projects being undertaken, it was significant enough to plug some loophole.
Alhaji Quaye said the assembly was bent on ensuring that traders do not encroach the designated area to avoid inconvenience to pedestrians and avert any disaster.
Among concerns raised at the forum by some group heads and association reps were for the assembly to remove the fence constructed at the edges of the street where they sell.
The fencing was constructed a year ago by the assembly to confine the traders and prevent them from encroaching on the area into the pavement.
They contended that the fencing impedes brisk business because potential buyers do not get easy access to their wares.
Participants asked the assembly to clear the air on who was collecting revenue from them, whether a private entity or revenue officials from the assembly.
A section of the participants also contend that operation of Okada riders in the vicinity were a nuisance to their business so they should be relocated.
In a remark, the Municipal Coordinating Director of the assembly, Mrs Eugenia Akporhor-Agbenyegah said the land was government property and all monies paid should be channelled to government coffers.
She said collection of revenue has been handed to a private entity known as Melchia Investment Ghana Limited which collects the revenue on behalf of the assembly, adding it was yielding expected results.
Issues of waste generation and collection in the area, she said would be addressed after a meeting with the environmental health officer.
All concerns and suggestions raised, according to her would be addressed by the assembly part of which would be done through inviting stakeholders to a meeting.
BY NORMAN COOPER