Politics of Mon, 14 May 20183
Government starving districts of development – Former NDC MMDCEs
The Association of Former Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives under the Mahama administration has accused the Akufo-Addo government of undermining the local governance system.
The former MMDCEs contend that allocations for development to the various districts assemblies under the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) have suffered a shortfall, thus affecting development.
The annual allocation to the DACF in 2018 as contained in the Appropriation Act is GHc1.8 billion.
Speaking to Citi News, the Spokesperson for the Association and former DCE for Sekyere Affram Plains, Donkor Fuseini, said the 20 percent allocation from the fund for development amounted to some degree of neglect.
“Now the Common Fund is going to be split with 40 percent going to fund the School Feeding Programme, 20 percent going to fund NaBCo [Nation Builders Corp], 20 percent going to fund Planting for Food and Jobs and only 20 percent left for development and other activities at the district assembly level.”
It is for this reason that the these Former Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives “believe this is a great injustice in terms of the development of the grassroots people at the district level,” Donkor Fuseini said.
Facts on the ground
Despite his assertions, it should be noted that the Government budgeted GHc 600 million for the Nation Builders Corps initiative and there is no official allocation for it in the District Assembly Common Fund formula.
The District Assembly Common Fund also set aside $20m for the management and disbursement of the District Development Fund (DDF).
In developing the Formula, the Administrator for the District Assembly Common Fund, Irene Naa Torshie Addo, has explained she was guided by the ‘Basic Needs’ approach to development with Health Service, Education Service, Water Coverage and Tarred Roads Coverage serving has key indicators.
Under this approach, MMDAs with more facilities or services received less in order to bridge the development gap between the various assemblies.
A total of 38 new assemblies have been established bringing the total number of MMDAs to benefit from the Fund in 2018 to 254.
About the fund
The District Assemblies’ Common Fund is a pool of resources created under Article 252 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.
It is a minimum of 5 percent of the national revenue set aside to be shared among all District Assemblies in Ghana with a formula approved by Parliament.
Part of the Fund is disbursed directly to District Assemblies in accordance with the approved Formula.
The MMDAs use the funds for projects and programmes determined by their respective Assemblies.
Some of the money from the Fund is also used directed to support a number of important social intervention projects which take place in the Districts but are national in scope. Disbursement for such programmes is referred to as ‘’indirect transfers’’.
Some of the national programmes supported by ‘indirect transfers’’ over the years have been the School Feeding Programmed, National Borehole Programme and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency.
Also, about 4 percent of the Fund is shared to Members of Parliament for a constituency project, 1.5 percent is shared among the 10 Regional Co-ordinating Councils for supervision of the Assemblies in their respective Regions while 2 percent is reserved to meet contingency expenditures.