WARDC Chairman Anxious to Collect Beach Revenue

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By: Ilyasa Baa

As the Western Rural District Council (WARDC) has projected to raise a staggering twenty five billion Leones (old currency) in 2023, the issue of who to collect revenue at the beaches is not still not yet clear as the Council and Ministry continue to clash for the much needed revenue.

 WARDC Chairman, Kasho J. Holland – Cole said the Act gives them the right to collect revenues at the  beaches within  rural district, adding that officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs have prevented Council from collecting such home sourced revenue. 

According to the Chairman, Kashow J Holland – Cole, Council is expected to raise the twenty billion whilst the remaining five billion Leones is expected to be provided by the ruling SLPP government. He said the money is expected to be raised from home sourced revenue, adding that it is not clear to him whether the central government will comply by providing  all the five billion they would  need from them to develop the district. He pointed out that the money will be used judiciously and will be allocated towards the projects of the Council this year. He mentioned the creation of women and youths’ groups, the purchase of ambulances to convey pregnant women to the health centres as areas the council has intervened.

Kasho boasted that within his reign, he has built over ten schools and markets with home sourced revenues. He said the Council is paying an India company thousands of Dollars to operationalize their online tax payment system which he said has enhanced the collection of revenue in the district. He said he and the Freetown Mayor Aki Sawyerr always deal with issues arising from payment of property rates in areas bordering with the rural district which is under his purview amicably.  He cited Fourahbay College at Mount Aureole as one area that is mistaken to be in Freetown rather than in the Western Rural District.  

The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs insists it has the right to collect revenue at the beaches which is one major tourist attraction site. 

Running for re – election, Cole said there is no aspirant or candidate within the SLPP to match up with him considering the level to which he has taken the district and Council over this short period as Chairman of the Council. “I am capable of defeating any opponent from the ruling party”, he assured this medium, adding that his opponents just concentrate on cheap political gains instead of talking about tangible development indicators in the country.

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