A metropolitan assembly in Ghana has threatened to sue Dangote Cement and other companies over rates non payment

The Tema Metropolitan Assembly in the Greater Accra Region has threatened to sue some companies operating in the Metropolis for failing to pay their rates and bills which amount to GH¢ 4,500,596.24.

TMA

The companies are Dangote Cement, Ghana Cocoa Board, Wilmar Ghana, and Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO).

A letter sent to the defaulters gave them 21-day ultimatum to pay their debts or face legal action. 

The letter which was signed by Tema Metropolitan Solicitor, Emmanuel Avenorgbo, was dated August 28, 2019.

It stated that “Unless payment is effected within twenty-one (21) days, I hereby serve you Notice of the Assembly’s demand for full payment, failing which it shall initiate the process for Court. Please note that the option as to the mode of prosecution is reserved to the Assembly.”

It indicated that per section 164 of the Local Government Act (Act 936), every public agency was liable to pay rates in respect of immovable property it owns within a District.

It added that “164. (1) Every public agency is liable to pay rates in respect of immovable property owned by it unless exempted from assessment by law.”

The statement added that if they default, the Assembly had the right to proceed to court to demand due payment as provided for under the relevant bye-laws for Business Operating Permit.

The letter stated that “151. (2) A District Assembly concerned may, recover any rate payable together with appropriate penalties as a civil debt with costs or may prosecute a defaulting ratepayer for wilful default to pay rates together with appropriate penalties where a person fails to the rate due on or before the date on which it is payable.”

According to the Tema Metropolitan Public Relations Officer, Frank Asante, he said the failure of the defaulters to pay their bills was affecting the development projects and programmes of the Assembly.

He added that TMA could not meet its revenue targets due to the non-payment of such taxes by the companies. 

He hinted that apart from resorting to the law courts, the assembly would also consider locking up of such business premises in addition to other measures.

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