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General News Fri, 7 May 2021

Select Committee wants development authorities put under Local Government Ministry

Government has been urged to hand over the control and supervision of the development authorities for the coastal, middle, and northern belts of the country to the Ministry for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.

According to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, which made the recommendation, since the main goal of the authorities is local development, the best entity to supervise them is the local government ministry.

“Given [that] the principal objects of the development authorities are local development, it would be ideal and appropriate if the[y] are placed under the policy directions of the minister responsible for local government and rural development,” said the committee in its report on the 2021 budget estimates of the ministry.

This would ensure sufficient ministerial supervision and effective parliamentary oversight of the authorities, it added.

The committee’s recommendation was in response to the placement of the development authorities under the direct control and supervision of the Office of the President, a decision that was taken after the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives, which previously oversaw the authorities, was scrapped by the President this year.

The development authorities are responsible for the implementation of the government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), under which each constituency in Ghana is allocated US$1 million annually to fund priority infrastructure projects.

In 2021, an amount of GH¢858.9 million has been allocated to the three authorities. However, the Parliamentary Select Committee’s report said adequate provisions were not made for capital expenditure to avoid the abandoning of projects being executed by the authorities.

The committee thus recommended that an adequate allocation be made in the mid-year budget to enable the authorities complete projects and pay contractors.
Source: business24.com.gh