Business News of 2014-07-18

Local Gov’t departments ask for more funding

The Births and Deaths Registry has expressed concern over the meagre budgetary allocation from the Consolidated Fund to finance its activities. In spite of that it says it generates considerable amounts of money into the national coffers.

According to the Director of the Registry, Mr John Yao Agbeko, last year alone, the registry paid GH¢4,075 million into the consolidated fund but received very little funding to meet its needs. Consequently, he said, he had called for an upward review of the sector’s share of budgetary allocation to enable it to function more effectively.

The assertions were made by the head of the Births and Deaths Registry when the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD), Mr Julius Debrah, paid a working visit to some departments and agencies under the ministry to familiarise himself with their work.

Following the revelations, the minister proposed to the department to consider going off government subvention to enable it to use internally-generated funds to address its needs. He said such a move would also relieve the government of pressure on its already over-stretched financial resources.

However, Mr Debrah pledged the government’s support for the registry to ensure that it was put on the right footing to enable it to deliver effectively on its mandate. He said he was visiting the registry to familiarise himself with operations of the section and to find out what its accomplishments, challenges and future plans were.

Births and Deaths Registry

According to the head of the Births and Deaths Registry, one of its principal problems was the lack of well-structured and permanent office buildings. “The department is still housed in wooden structures built in the pre-independence era,” he said.

Mr Agbeko, therefore, appealed to the government to assist the department with a modern office building to enable it to improve further on its operations and activities. He said the Births and Deaths Registry was working actively to eliminate the incidence of double registration and illegal acquisition of Ghanaian birth certificates by foreigners, among other breaches of the law.

According to him, most foreigners who obtained Ghanaian birth certificates did so with the connivance of Ghanaian citizens who served as fronts for them, and called for collaboration from all to help address the challenges.

Department of Community Development

At a meeting with staff and management of the Department of Community Development, the minister urged the staff to be committed to their work and be ready to brace themselves for developmental changes. He urged the management to be innovative in their operations and in addition, devise proactive means of generating money to finance their work since subvention from the government alone was not enough.

The acting Director of the Department, Mrs Fati Alhassan, said delays in the disbursement of government subvention and the lack of tools for effective teaching and learning were some of the problems hindering the smooth administration of the division.

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