The Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development says the TDC Development Company and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) must pay rates and fees to the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA).
The Committee affirmed the landlord status of the Assembly and noted that it was not right for the TDC and GPHA to refuse to pay revenue to the TMA while they were operating on TMA lands.
Members of the Committee made up of Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuaye, the ranking member and Member of Parliament for Odododiodio, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, MP for Banda and first minority whip, Mr Dominic Napare, MP for Sene East and Mr Ampem Nyarko, MP for Asuogyaman paid an oversight visit to the TMA on Friday.
The Committee therefore urged the TMA to take the necessary steps including resorting to the courts to ensure that the two institutions and their tenants paid their rates including building permits to enable the Assembly accrue the needed revenue for the development of the area.
Mr Vanderpauye told the Ghana News Agency that the Committee would take the issue up with the Ministry to push for such institutions to pay explaining that even though an institution such as TDC collects ground payments from its tenants, while “TMA is saddled with responsibilities including sanitation and other development issues in the jurisdiction”.
He indicated that it was unfortunate that the TMA had ceded its authority to the two institutions and was losing big revenue stressing that TDC was only set up to plan Tema and being a limited liability company does not insulate them from paying.
He emphasized that “they have to pay development and building permit to TMA and their occupants must equally pay rates to the Assembly”.
The Ranking Member noted that the even though the Kaneshie Market was a limited liability company, they still pay rates to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly adding that the various ministries also pay property rate to the Assembly.
On the issue of waste management and the dilapidated central sewer lines in the harbour and industrial city, he urged the TMA to officially make an appeal to the central government through parliament for it to be attended to.
He noted that parliament did a similar exercise for the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to acquire a waste treatment plant adding that TMA could also be supported as it was currently “all the waste in Accra is coming to Tema”.
Mr Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, on his part, also bemoaned the self-acquired status of TDC, GPHA as parallel authorities in the area, saying that the TMA had prepared and presented a document on the issue to the sector Ministry but to no avail.