Investigations by Today have revealed that revenue collectors at Asankrangwa market in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region have placed their personal interest above that of the nation.
According to our findings, instead of these revenue collectors issuing daily tickets of GHC1.00 to the market women, they have rather resorted to exchanging tickets for foodstuff, meat, fish among other perishable ingredients
“When they come to us and you are selling tomatoes they demand one Ghana cedi worth of tomatoes; same applies to other foodstuffs. They have been doing it for years and so we are used to that,” a tomato seller at the market, Madam Cecilia Eshun, told Today.
According to our investigations, though this practice has been going on for several years, successive district chief executives had failed to deal with the canker.
And while officials of the assembly declined to speak to Today, our source disclosed that revenue collection in the district has been low, affecting the development of the area.
Our source further revealed that the Asankrangwa market which is the biggest in the district with two market days in a week—Tuesday and Friday—in recent times had seen a decline in its revenue collection due to the underhand dealings of revenue collectors.
The district has four major markets centres. These are Asankrangwa, Samreboi, Wassa Dunkwa and Mumuni.
But with the exception of Mumuni, the rest have failed woefully to meet their revenue targets.
Meanwhile, Today has gathered that the district assembly in its effort to rid the assembly of corruption has engaged the services of National Service personnel who are not indigenes of the area to collect revenue.
And to motivate these service personnel to achieve their revenue target, Today further gathered that they [the service personnel] have been promised a commission on the number of tickets they sell on daily basis.
In an interview with Today some of the service personnel expressed gratitude to the assembly and promised to work harder to generate the needed revenue for the district.
“We are very happy with the work we are doing now. In fact it’s a challenge to those of us collecting the revenue and we will make sure we justify the confidence the assembly has reposed in us,” they told Today.
According to the service personnel, initially when they started collecting the tolls, some of the traders tried to bribe them, but they ignored the fact that they were serving the country.
When asked about the extent to which people were aware of the need to pay taxes, the personnel explained that although many people were aware, a significant number of them were still not well-informed.
“Those who are aware of the need to pay taxes pay almost immediately we approach them. Some come to pay after receiving the tickets while others prove very difficult. But we are still educating them and monitoring as well,” they added.
Meanwhile, some of the market women in the district want the payment of taxes to be tied to the provision of amenities such as potable water, proper drainage systems and effective waste management systems.
Source: Today Newspaper