Business News of 2014-02-04

Assemblies warned against misapplying project funds

Dr Ephraim Avea Nsor, Upper West Regional Minister, has urged District Assemblies in the region to refrain from misapplying funds meant for the implementation of the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP).
He noted that some of the Assemblies had acquired the habit of taking money from the GSOP account with the excuse of borrowing it, only to use the money to finance expenditure items, like travelling expenses, and warned that recalcitrant Assemblies would be sanctioned.
Dr Nsor was addressing the opening session of a day's workshop held in Wa to review the implementation of the project.
The GSOP was launched in 2011, and it is being funded by the World Bank with an amount of 88.5 million dollars, with government contributing 600,000 dollars as counterpart fund.
It is being implemented in 10 districts in the region, and has a Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) component that would take 48 million dollars of the amount.
The LIPW would provide access to employment and income earning opportunities for the rural poor during the agricultural off season.
The Regional Minister said a total of 114 communities had been sensitized on the project, and 15,396 unskilled workers had been employed, earning a total income of GH¢ 3,128,031.50.
He said the primary benefit of the LIPW as a social protection intervention, is the transfer of cash to the rural poor to enhance household incomes as a way of preventing the depletion of household assets.
He said the Project has also restored the productive capacities of socio-economic infrastructure, such as roads, small dams and dug-outs at the community level.
Mr. Robert Austin, National Co-ordinator of GSOP said the Project is supporting the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to come out with a legislation that would make labour intensive concept in public works a national policy, to enable it be a tool for alleviating rural poverty.
If every District Assembly could set aside 10 per cent of its revenue for the execution of labour intensive projects, the concept would be institutionalized to play a key role in national development, he added.
He advised the Assemblies not to wait until the exhaustion of their share of the project funds which were being released periodically before they apply for the release of more funds to continue with the implementation programme.
Source: GNA
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