On 6th February, 2022, the Gushegu Municipal Assembly hosted the Saboba and Karaga Districts at a maiden stakeholder engagement on Internally Generated Funds (IGF), organized by the Northern Regional Coordinated Council (NRCC), Tamale. In attendance were the District chief Executives for Karaga and Saboba Districts, the Regional Budget Analyst and his team, the Heads of Departments of the Assemblies, Revenue Collectors as well as Assembly Members and Traditional Leaders and other relevant tax payers or Groups and Associations.

The engagement is a novel initiative by NRCC, aimed at identifying the challenges confronting the Assemblies on revenue mobilization and proposing strategies to overcome those challenges. The engagement is occasioned by the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and its cascading effects on local economies, coupled with the dwindled Central Government transfers to Assemblies. As a result, MMDAs are now unable to meet the increasing demands and expectations on the part of community members in the area of social services and infrastructure provision, hence the need for appropriate ways of mobilizing revenue locally.

Addressing the stakeholders at the occasion, the Hon. MCE for Gushegu, Hon. Yaja Dawuni Robert noted that, IGF mobilization remains one of the most difficult tasks confronting most Assemblies in the country, particularly in the North even though they have huge potentials to generate enough to undertake developmental programmes and projects in their respective Assemblies.

He outlined several measures the Gushegu Municipal Assembly was taking to improve the situation. These include the formation of a revenue task force for the newly constructed livestock market, strengthening monitoring visits to the markets, proper zoning of Gushegu Township and revenue automation and digitization using dlRev software by GIZ. According to him, IGF mobilization for the Gushegu Municipal Assembly has drastically improved in the last two years. For instance, total IGF collected as at September 2021 was GHC 207,865.42 compared with GHC 16,836.00 during the same period in 2020. He acknowledged the contributions of GDCA and GIZ and other Development partners have made in the Municipality in area of improvement in revenue mobilization. He further noted that, there are still many potential areas in the Municipality from which enough revenue could be generated.

The Hon. MCE admonished his colleagues to commit to improving on revenue mobilization through increased sensitizations, capacity building of revenue collectors and building strong collaboration with traditional authorities to exploit their influence.

In a presentation by the Regional Budget Analyst, Alhaji Haruna Mahamud, he bemoaned the poor performance of IGF in the region. He attributed this performance to weak monitoring system, poor political commitment, high revenue leakages, limited-service delivery, limited use of technology and inadequate data on the part of MMDAs.

The District Chief Executive for Saboba, Hon. George K. Bingrini and for Karaga, Hon. Iddrisu Mohammed Saani in their contribution to the discussion affirmed their commitment towards improving IGF mobilization in their respective Districts to reduce over dependence on Central Government and donor agencies. According to them, it is the only way Assemblies are guaranteed adequate resources to undertake development programmes and projects for improved social and economic wellbeing of their people.

The Districts at the forum developed revenue improvement action plans which highlighted their strategies in addressing their revenue operational weaknesses towards improving the revenue mobilization situation in the Districts.