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BAC raises concern over d16m debt

Aug 30, 2010, 2:16 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The management of the Brikama Area Council has expressed concern over the latepayment of rates and tax, as well as operating licences by businesses and individuals, which it said remains a major concern to the council in recent times.

Speaking in an interview with our reporter at his office in Brikama, the council's Public Relations Officer Modou Njonga said from 2005 to 2010, an amount of 16 million Dalasi is owed to the council by businesses and individuals, as a result of non-payment of rates and taxes.

He revealed that arrears of rent at the Brikama market alone is D124, 100, noting that this has adversely affected implementation of some of the development projects that the council was supposed to carry out for the communities.                    .

According to the BAC spokesman, despite all the advertisements for defaulters to come forward and settle their rates and taxes, it is clear that taking legal action against the defaulters is the only available and workable option that the council has to take.

"We will not relent to ensure that defaulters settle their obligations, because without this money the council cannot deliver services," he said, adding that it is not advisable for business operators, for instance, to operate without authentic documents.

While urging the general public to come forward and settle their arrears to avoid being dragged to court, Njonga emphasised that the year 2010 is a year of "No Compromise for non-payment of rate and taxes."

"We will intensify our efforts to see that defaulters settle their documents. In this exercise, they should not see BAC as witch hunters, but the council is here to serve the people, and this can only be done when people settle their document by coming forward to pay their money to the council," he added.

This money paid to the council, he went on, is of great importance to the community, as it will be ploughed back to them in the form of development projects.

Commenting on the development projects undertaken by the council, PRO Njonga said the council has embarked on rehabilitation of a hand-fitted pump at Kangiramban in Foni Bondali, digging of a well at Burambang, construction of new well at Giana, and the rehabilitation of the Bafuloto-Brikama road, together with the Saamasang Federation.

He noted that from January-October 2009, a total amount of D407, 225 was given out in the form of scholarships to needy students by the council.

Mr. Njonga revealed that the council also presented D570, 000 for the rehabilitation of roads in Misira ward, Nema, Brikama Gidda, Suba and Tambana, with a view to ploughing back revenue to tax payers, and making the roads accessible to the communities.