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Effective Property Assessment Can Generate Funds For Dev't   
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Mr Richard Acquaah-Harrison, a private Consultant on Town Planning, has called on the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to undertake effective property assessment to generate enough funds for development within the metropolis.

“If AMA is able to undertake proper assessment of 90 per cent of properties within its jurisdiction, it could generate more funds and even assist government with funds for other developmental projects in the country,” he said.

Mr Acquaah-Harrison made the call in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Friday.

He expressed worry that most Town Councils, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the country did not have geographic identification to locate and assess properties to mobilise the needed revenue.

“The assemblies do not know the properties they are supposed to assess because they do not have maps to aid them in their work,” he said.

Mr Acquaah-Harrison explained that their difficulty was heightened by the fact that the country had no proper street naming and house numbering system, and expressed disquiet that only a small percentage of properties were assessed.

“I lived in Abelenkpe (a suburb of Accra) some 15 years ago, AMA was at that time collecting GH¢13.50 as property rate for some buildings in the area for a year. Meanwhile, landowners were renting their properties to people for 1,500 dollars a month,” he said and added that it was a clear case of under- assessment of property by AMA.

He said street naming and house numbering system would help AMA in its revenue mobilisation efforts.

Mr Acquaah-Harrison said there was no need for AMA to wait for the Urban Management Land Information System (UMLIS) project to take off before mobilising the needed revenue.

He said after the pilot project, AMA should invite stakeholders to elicit meaningful inputs to form a sustainable and reliable house address system.

Mr Francis Dei-Amoah, Project Co-ordinator of Street Naming and House Address System of the AMA told the GNA that government had already instituted a pilot project to properly demarcate and number streets in the metropolis for easy identification.

He said the UMLIS project, was being managed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and funded by the Swedish International Development Agency.

Mr Dei-Amoah said the project being undertaken at Ayawaso Sub-Metropolitan Area, on a pilot phase to provide useful data for easy revenue mobilisation would be replicated nation-wide.

He said a global positioning satellite had been used to take a digitized picture of Kokomlemle, a suburb of Accra, to demarcate and name streets and houses, because the area had characteristics that were fairly representative of cities in the country.

Mr Dei-Amoah denied that AMA was unable to generate enough revenue from property assessment because it did not have proper documentation for identification of streets and buildings.

“Under the UMLIS project, we will be able to determine properties in the country and assess them,” he said.
Source: GNA

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