The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) says it is cutting down on “unnecessary cost” as it falls on the central government to help it fight off a debt of ¢52 million.
The Mayor of Kumasi, Sam Pyne, reveals that though a chunk of the Assembly’s debt is accruing from unpaid waste management contractors, he is also holding talks to cut expenditure on certain politicians and individuals in transit whose expenses are borne by the Assembly.
After the current Mayor’s nomination, members of the Assembly demanded payment of the KMA’s debt as a requirement for his confirmation.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, indicated government could not pay the debts until investigations had been launched into them.
But speaking on Luv FM’s ‘Luv in the Morning’ with David Akuetteh, City Mayor, Sam Pyne disclosed that he is liaising with the Finance Ministry to settle it.
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“I have made all the moves, written letters to the Presidency, Chief of Staff, Local Government and Finance Ministries.
“Three days ago, we had an encounter in Sunyani, a meeting of MMDCEs from Ashanti, Bono Ahafo and the Western North and I had an opportunity to meet the Finance Ministry reps who came and the Minister himself and we are looking at it.”
The Mayor says KMA’s debt excludes interests that may have accrued on them.
“The debt, we were looking at about ¢52 million. But from a conversation with some of them, they are going way back to look at interests that could have accrued but what is on paper and what we are fighting for is the ¢52 million,” the Mayor disclosed.
To cut the expenditure of the KMA, Mr Pyne said he is in talks to stop politicians and certain individuals who are not staff of the Assembly from drawing from its coffers.
He said some of the non-staff when they are on transit in the Garden City take their fuel and other expenses from the Assembly, adding to their mountain of debts.
“We have had series of meetings, and I had the opportunity to meet some of these people, and I have told them about the situation of the Assembly.
“Henceforth, if it is not in line with the duties at KMA, I don’t think why somebody from, for example, from ECG headquarters, comes in on a business for ECG and would wish the Assembly to foot their hotel bills. No!” he noted.
“These are certain things that we need to streamline, and we are doing that perfectly. So far, my finance department will tell you, we are cutting down on some of these ‘unnecessary costs’ to the Assembly,” Mr Pyne emphasised.
Some workers of KMA had their salaries in arrears for six months, but City Mayor says four months of those arrears have been and the remainder will be cleared within the shortest possible time.