The Sagnarigu Municipal Assembly and Zabzugu District Assembly have been called to adopt technology by using monitoring and supervision systems in the mobilization of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to reduce corrupt practices and improve on revenue generation.
The two assemblies have also been urged to ensure effective accountability and transparency in the use of their IGR by involving community members in deciding the use of the funds.
This formed part of recommendations of a survey conducted in August 2019 to assess the view of members of the public on tax payment and utilization as well as examine the human capacity, available structures and systems put in place for revenue mobilization and utilization by the two assemblies.
It was carried out by the Northern Sector Action on Awareness Creation (NORSAAC) in collaboration with CUTS International and supported by OXFAM.
These recommendations were made known at a forum organised by NORSAAC and attended by some officials from the two assemblies and other stakeholders.
The forum was to help validate and disseminate the results of the survey to the two assemblies as well as solicit their inputs.
Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, the Country Director for CUTS International, presenting results of the survey, said findings from the survey showed minimal or no technology usage by revenue administrators and tax collectors in tax mobilization in both the Sagnerigu and Zabzugu assemblies.
He said out of 200 respondents from both districts, comprising 15 revenue administrators, 17 revenue collectors and 168 adult citizens, only about 40 per cent and below of both revenue administrators and revenue collectors confirmed using technology application in revenue mobilization.
Mr Adomako said the results on public perception on tax payment and utilization also indicates low level of information and awareness on tax affairs and entitlement by citizens in both districts.
He said the survey showed the citizens are willing to pay taxes but reluctant in doing so because they felt taxes were poorly used in the two assemblies.
“The misconceptions about tax usage is confirmed by the act of tax collectors who divert the IGR for personal use by issuing fake receipts” he said.
The survey revealed that revenue collectors from the two assemblies were not highly educated, and usually comprised Junior High School (JHS) leavers, while they lacked the needed logistics to function effectively.
The participants called for effective collaboration between the assemblies and traditional authorities to help encourage residents within these assemblies to honour their tax obligations.
They further suggested the need for the assemblies to establish credible data base to enable them meet their set revenue targets, as well as strengthen the sub-district structures and build the capacity of revenue collectors to enhance effective revenue mobilization.
Mr Alhassan Mohammed Awal, the Executive Director of NORSAAC, called on the two assemblies to start taking actions on the issues raised as well as the suggestions made from the findings of the report to help them improve and bring positive results in their revenue mobilization.