|Posted by Npong on June 12, 2011 at 7:54 AM|
Francis Npong, Tamale
The civil society organizations in northern region have called on the government to outlaw policies that allowed agencies and departments to spend on behalf of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
According to them, the huge statutory deductions on the District Assembly Common Fund which is held back at the national level, sometimes on procurement and unnecessary purchases done on behalf of MMDAs does not help prioritization of needs under decentralization system and should be stopped immediately.
“There can never be local level development if fund are always retained at the national level”, the communiqué stated.
A communiqué signed by Executive Director of GDCA, Mr. Osman Abdul-Rahman, IBIS Director, Eric Kavaarpou and Chairman of Regional CBOs Network Mr. Mahamdu Mahama and issued at the end of the fourth Regional Annual Festival of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Local Non-Governmental Organizations (LNGOs) in Northern Region held in Tamale indicated that the development deficits at local levels was because of huge statutory deduction of MMDAs common.
It said spending on behalf of MMDAs cast a slur on the personalities at the local level, which could mean they are mostly likely not competent, and incapable of managing their respective districts.
The forum was organized by Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDACA) and in collaboration with IBIS West Africa brought CBOs and NGOs operating in the region to share ideas, opinions and deliberate on how to support the development of communities to improve livelihoods.
The festival is part of efforts to harmonize operations of NGOs and CBOs in development efforts and as much avoid duplication of work in communities.
It was under the theme “Citizens’ participation in development planning; a key to achieving sustainable development”.
The participants drawn from all the 20 district assemblies in the region also deliberated on women’s Participation in Local Governance, the perspective of the 2010 local level elections and the Youth Policy Framework, Opportunities and Challenges.
The communiqué stated that though the Local Government Act, 462 of 1993, legally backs the Decentralization Process that includes the promotion of popular participation and ownership of decisions and development at the local level, central government was interfering in operations of decentralized structures.
This constant meddling of MMDAs operations, the communiqué noted prevents local participation in drawing Community Action Plans which could eventually lead to the development of the Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) of the District Assembly.
As a result MMDAs are forced to implement central government action plans some of which may not be the priority of the district. This however amount to waste of resources and under utilization of human resources at the local level.
The communiqué called on the government to include grass root participation in the re-sizing of the sub-structures, to ensure complete citizen ownership of the MTDP promote effective and efficient preparation and validation of the plans to facilitate development and deepens decentralize system.
The statement urged the government to take steps to immediately abolish such huge and unnecessary deductions of MMDAs common fund at the national level for effective performances of MMDAs.