Business News of 2014-04-25

Contractors abandon gov’t projects in U/W Region

Contractors working on various government projects in the Daffiama-Busie-Issah District of the Upper West Region have abandoned their respective project sites, claiming the government has stopped paying them.

The District Chief Executive for the area, Fedelis Zumapke, disclosed this during an interaction with Assembly Members at Issah, the District capital. He said the decision by the contractors has adversely affected infrastructure development in the area and that the day to day running of the newly created District has also been seriously affected.

Mr. Zumapkeh said the District’s dire financial challenges have been compounded by delays in releasing the area’s share of allocations to the District Assemblies’ Development Fund for the 2012 fiscal year.

“Projects under the District Assemblies Common Fund which [should] have completed last year are at a standstill because government only paid a little over GHC 100,000 out of the GHC 700,000 it owes contractors working on such projects.”

The DCE said the Assembly has instituted measures that culminated in over a 100% increase in local revenue targets. But, he said, the rise in local revenue generation could not achieve the needed impact on the district’s development. “We exceeded the budgeted figure of GHC 17,084.00 in the first quarter by GHC 17,470.00 which represents 102% increment but most of it went into servicing debts,” he explained.

The Upper West Regional Minister, Bede Ziedeng, admonished District Assemblies in the Region not to depend solely on funds from central government for their development needs.

He said most Assemblies lack innovative ways of generating local revenue but then turn around to blame central government for their financial challenges. “In the run up to the creation of this District Assembly that argument was made that it was economically viable, so it is important that we strengthen our efforts in generating revenue locally rather than blaming central government,” Mr. Ziedeng.

The Minister said the Regional Coordinating Council will this year organize training workshops on revenue mobilization for all District Assemblies in the Region to help boost revenue collection across the Region. He called on chiefs, assembly members and all opinion leaders in the Upper West Region to support government in its drive to develop the Region.

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