The chief executive officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, says the assembly’s activities have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, leading to a significant dip in the organisation’s revenue.
According to the Accra Mayor, AMA finances have been badly squeezed by the disease and this has affected the assembly’s operations and services.
Speaking on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday morning (7 July), Sowah said the situation has forced the assembly to restrategise and prioritise its operations.
‘’From March thereabouts coming to April, your revenues reduced by 60%, and then you went into a lockdown and then your revenue went to zero. And then after lockdown it started picking up small, small – 5%, 10%. And as I speak to you it’s still hovering around 25%. This is from fees, fines, business operating permits, property rates and so on,’’ he said.
The Mayor averred that losing such a significant proportion of revenue has forced officials at the AMA to concentrate on the most pressing concerns (particularly sanitation) and to place a premium on these.
“First of all you need to focus on sanitation because it is a public health matter,” Sowah said. “People think that a lot [more] people die from malaria than COVID-19. And so, in our public health response management work that we are doing, we think that our strength should be on issues of sanitation, to complement all the efforts that we are making.”
He continued: “So you have a significant amount of revenue that you are losing and you need that money to offer the service. It doesn’t look encouraging. But it is essential that you have that money. If you look at the maths, you can see the impact of COVID-19 on our inflows and directly affecting our services. So you just have to quickly reprioritise.”
The Mayor said that Accra, as the epicentre of the disease outbreak in Ghana, has been hardest hit by the pandemic. Every facet of the AMA’s operations has been affected, he said.