Gov’t offsets outstanding 10-Year Bills to Kenema

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March 1, 2019

By Joseph S. Margai

gov.

Chief Administrator, Kenema City Council, Vivian Sally Senesie, has on Thursday, 21st February, 2019, disclosed that the government has paid its outstanding 10-year bills to the council last year.

The bills, according to the chief administrator, who was speaking in an interview in her council’s office in Kenema, were for all properties owned by government in the municipality of Kenema.

According to Madam Senesie, the money paid for government’s property over the last 10 years, totalled to one billion and seventy-six million Leones (Le1,076,000,000).

“At this moment that we need massive development in the city of Kenema, it is a boost to us. It is also a boost to the collection of property rate, which is one of the core areas for council’s own-sourced revenue. I want to specifically commend the government for adhering to the payment of property rates,” she stated.

She disclosed that the people of Kenema are also adhering to the payment of property rates, saying that in fact, they sometimes come to us and request for property rates demand notes.

The Chief Administrator said they have thirteen thousand three hundred (13,300) properties in Kenema city but only five thousand (5,000) property rates have been paid so far, which according to her, is not too bad for council’s own-sourced revenue.

Madam Senesie said they are working closely with the European Union (EU) to strengthen their cadastre system which will help to improve on the collection of property rates in the system.

Another source of own-sourced revenue, according to her, is market dues, which accounts for 50 percent of total own-sourced revenue of Kenema City Council, making it the second highest after Freetown City Council in this regard.

She stated that in a situation, where someone fails to pay property rates, seizure of properties comes in, and the council’s police with be ordered to close the doors of some businesses.

She said there are lots of areas that they generate internally generated revenue from, citing that registration of businesses, investment activities as the council owns a guesthouse and a cool room, contractors’ registration, registration of customary marriages, hall rentals, among others.

The council, according to her, has constructed the pavilion of the city’s stadium using own-sourced revenue of over 200 million Leones, noting that they have 10 guestrooms, canteen, and other facilities there.

“We are currently implementing 60 percent of own-sourced generated revenue on projects and 40 percent on administration,” the head of council’s administrative wing told this medium.

In the area of solid wastes management, Madam Senesie said they approached an organisation called Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH), a German non-governmental organisation (NGO), which supported them with skip trucks that were placed at strategic positions for dumping of wastes, which are subsequently taken and deposited to the dumpsite that is situated five kilometres away from Kenema city.

“WHH also has been providing additional fuel in support of the national cleaning days. Ours national cleaning days does not stop at 12 mid-day, we continue throughout the day because after the wastes have been cleared from homes, and other places, we would continue to transport and deposit them at the dumpsite so as to keep the entire city clean and tidy always,” she said.