Kumasi — The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, has disclosed that adequate funds had been made readily available for the smooth take-off of the newly-created districts and municipalities across the country.
The Minister said funds would be disbursed to the new districts and municipalities to facilitate their operations as soon as they are inaugurated.
The newly-created 46 districts and municipalities would be officially commissioned on Thursday June 28, amidst concerns about facilities and funds available for their operations.
But, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo said everything had been taken care of, and that funds had been made readily available to ensure their smooth take-off without any major hindrances.
The Minister, who gave the assurance when he met with the chiefs and people of Asokore Mampong, one of the newly-crafted municipalities, said the government, during the creation of the districts, envisaged challenges of funds, and therefore, allocated seed capital for the 46 fresh districts to start with.
The visit by the Minister formed part of his familiarisation tour to acquaint himself with the level of facilities and preparedness of the various districts ahead of the inauguration.
He said additionally, measures would be put in place to ensure that the newly-created districts could access various capitals such as the District Development Fund (DDF), the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), and other funds needed to help strengthen the decentralisation programme.
Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, however, admitted that one of the major challenges would be the provision of infrastructure, and advocated a high level of community participation in ensuring that the districts acquire temporary structures for their activities.
He said he was satisfied with the level of facilities in the various districts visited so far, and indicated that the government would facilitate the construction of offices and other infrastructure to make the new districts more functional.
The Minister, therefore, called on traditional leaders, civil society groups, and assembly members to collaborate and work towards making their operations easier.
The Chief of Asokore Mampong, Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah II, said the people of Asokore Mampong and its environs were happy to be beneficiaries of the newly-created districts, and said he would personally take active part in ensuring that lands and other resources were made available for the construction of offices.
He said a vast piece of land had been allocated for the development of offices, stressing that in the meantime, he would offer his palace to the assembly for meetings.
Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah II said having been involved once in the local governance system, as a presiding member of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), he was fully aware of the benefits the creation of new districts would bring to the people, and would leave nothing to chance in ensuring the successful operation of the Asokore Mampong Municipality.
He said one of the major challenges facing people was poverty, stressing that the new assembly must work hard to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people in the area.