18 February 2013

Ghana: Local Gov Charges MMAs to Involve the People

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, has designed a capacity support project for the Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies (MMAs), through which the people at the grassroots would be actively involved in decision-making at the local level.

The Local Government support project is a US$175.0 million Government of Ghana and World Bank initiative, targeting the existing 46 MMAs to implement it over a five-year period, which is aimed at addressing some weaknesses in the current decentralisation framework.

At a workshop at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Wednesday, the delegation from the two ministries indicated that the project further seeks to assess the MMAs budgeting, reporting and auditing system, revenue management, asset management and social accountability identified in the National Decentralisation Action Plan (NDAP).

According to the representative of the Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Elvis Out, the government must be felt by the people, but there are several policies pasted by the assemblies that the people were not aware of.

He explained that the grant targets MMAs only, because they had the personnel and facilities to generate income and commission projects on their own, as compared to the district assemblies.

He added that each MMA would access the grant when it is able to meet the criteria of strengthening the fiscal framework for decentralisation, enhancing decentralised urban delivery, stimulating demand for accountable governance and service delivery, and institutional and project management support.

Mr. Otu stressed that the project would improve citizens' engagement with the MMAs, and their perceptions of urban management. "It will generate civil society demand for financial information from MMAs budgets and audits."

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