Marriage Booms At Ashaiman Municipality

If there is any department in the recently-inaugurated Ashaiman Municipal Assembly which is making giant strides in terms of revenue generation, then it is the marriage registration centre, which has, since its inception, generated some good money for the assembly. Registering 15 customary marriages and 748 marriages by ordinance in 2012, the department raised a total of GH¢26,832 – which was GH¢ 6,832 more than the unit’s revenue target. The last quarter of the year alone saw the department registering a total of 243 with total revenue of GH¢8,320, the highest ever since its operations. Opened in August 2010, the department has officially presided over 3,000 marriages, and due to its proximity and some freebies couples stand to enjoy from the registrar, Reverend Sampson Smith, people living in and around Ningo-Prampram, Kpone and Afienya have opted to register their marriages in the municipality instead of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA). For instance, the unit organises free pre-marital counselling and marital teachings to both registered and non-registered members fortnightly on Mondays. In addition, the registrar officiates without charging a fee. He does that during weekdays and weekends. Interacting with Reverend Sampson Smith on the 2012 revenue feat of his outfit, he said in spite of the fact that his outfit charges GH¢28 for the ordinance marriage, and GH¢20 each for the customary marriage, which is the cheapest fee in the region, the driving force for the department’s success has been the attractive package offered patrons. Even though his outfit is mandated to decree three types of marriages, more couples have over the years preferred Registrar’s Certificate and Ordinance marriages to customary marriage because of the security the former gives to the bride. He continued that his office charged a couple an additional GH¢10 for the issuance of an ASHMA certificate to support the marriage certificate his office issues. Reverend Sampson further disclosed that the assembly charges an additional GH¢22 from couples who use the assembly’s hall for their wedding reception. Another magic that could have contributed to his outfit’s feat, he pointed out, was the free counselling he gives to would-be couples in their preparatory marriage stages. The revenue feat notwithstanding, Reverend Sampson Smith mentioned the poor and unattractive interior decoration of the assembly hall as a challenge his outfit is faced with, and entreated the assembly to address the situation immediately to increase his outfit’s revenue collection.