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Biometric verification of Chiefdom Authorities soon

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has informed pressmen about his ministry’s readiness to soon embark on the biometric verification of all chiefdom authorities across the country.

Tamba Lamina stated that is necessitated by the recent increment of remuneration of Council staff and other chiefdom functionaries by the government.

“The move seeks to clarify the exact number of chiefdom functionaries that will be catered for so that the right people will benefit," he explained.

Amb. Lamina disclosed that the verification exercise will be launched on October 10, 2020 in Kiodu city with registration commencing on October 14th in all district headquarters nationwide.

In a related development, the Local Government Minister spoke about the up of a technical team that will put together guidelines for Property Tax.

According to him, the technical team is now working on the draft guidelines for all Local Councils nationwide, and assured that all Councils, civil society organizations, Ministry of Finance represented by the Local Government Finance Department will be consulted during the process.

The Minister emphasized that all Chairpersons, Chiefdom Administrators and Mayors are required to join the technical team to validate the draft proposal which will be taken to Cabinet afterwards.

It could be recalled that some months ago, the Freetown City Council announced the introduction of a new property rate but its implementation was however put on hold by the Local Government Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance because engagement was not done by the FCC to provide the necessary guidelines as required by law.

“Section 69 sub section 2 of the Local Government Act gives both ministries the mandate to provide guidelines for levied rates,” he said and noted his ministry was contacted by members of the public raising concern over the lack of awareness and ownership of the rates, particularly at a time when Covid-19 was at its peak in the country.

He noted that the action taken by the ministry was clearly based on the law and not Ill-motivated, saying the Freetown City Council has since been complying with the decision that was made and asked that it continues to do so until the said guidelines are issued.

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