Revenue Collectors To Be Axed

The fate of some contracted revenue collectors of the Ga South Municipal Assembly (GASMA) in the Greater Accra Region is hanging in the Balance following a proposed termination of their appointments by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE). The MCE, Mr. Jerry Akwei Thompson, said the action has become necessary due to the non-performance of the ‘hired’ workers in their various assignments. He disclosed this at the 3rd Ordinary Meeting of Assembly members from the twenty six (26) electoral areas of the municipality on Wednesday, November 27. The planned lay-offs would commence after the annual review of their performance by the Assembly and workers who performed below their targets would be laid off from January 2014. The Assembly employs over 50 revenue collectors with each expected to raise over GH˘3,000 monthly in revenue, most collectors are not realizing the target. According to the MCE, the continuous non-performance of workers has worsened the Assembly always relies on donor companies for funding to be able to pay the affected workers. “…Despite our efforts to defray our year-to-year debts, we still have outstanding debts to pay. Our indebtedness now stands at GH˘637,372.76 [and] the laying off of non-performing workers is part of proactive measures… by the Assembly to clear its outstanding debt,” he told the Assembly members. In the past years, the Assembly has experienced chronic liquidity crisis including a GH˘33,556 loss in the collection of property rates for the Assembly. This loss emerged from the difference in 2012 collection and that of 2013. The assembly collected GH˘375,256.00 in 2012 as against GH˘341,700.00 collected in 2013. And the loss, according to the source, is a major reason compelling the Assembly to demand higher performance from revenue collectors of the Assembly. Mr. Thompson hopes the planned lay-offs would be part of the solutions to the problem and also help the Assembly raise enough revenue to finance most of its developmental projects that have to be funded with internally-generated funds. He, however, disclosed that the Assembly earned GH˘55,000 from the sale of 2,000 jackets to developers within the Assembly. The laying off is likely to also affect other hired employees in other departments within the Assembly for poor performance. “Some workers come to work and sit down idle. Some even move around without doing any work yet they expect to be paid. We will not continue to tolerate this bad practice of such workers… After a review of our headcounts and costs, the problem we are facing is funds to pay workers,” he said. By “January next year we will do performance appraisal in all the departments of the Assembly and if we still find out that workers are still under-performing, we will lay them off,” Mr. Akwei stressed. He also disclosed that GASMA will collaborate with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to construct a recycling plant within the Municipality to convert waste to energy as a solution to the piling up of refuse at container sites, market places, bus terminals and open places therein. All bad roads within the Municipality, he said, have been targeted for rehabilitation to ensure total development.