Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the Upper East Region have been directed to submit their annual budgets to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Administrator of the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) and other relevant agencies within the prescribed deadlines.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru gave the directive during the 2014 Composite Hearings for all 13 districts of the region.
The Regional Minister also charged the assemblies to do broad consultations with all stakeholders at the local level in order to incorporate their inputs into the budgets. He said there was the need for management of the assemblies to ensure judicious use of resources in the award of contracts and supply of office logistics so as to get value for money. He further noted that realistic project costing; timely delivery of projects, adherence to project specifications and regular monitoring coupled with continuous maintenance would increase the life span of projects.
According to Alhaji Limuna, environmental and sanitation issues which are critical to the health of the citizens "must be tackled with all seriousness and must be made a component of the Municipal/District Assemblies planning and budgeting system". He appealed to the assemblies to include gender and all its related activities in their budget plans.
An expert from the Local Government Service Secretariat, Mr Gregory Adda who was part of the regional monitoring team urged the MDAs to prioritise all uncompleted projects in their budgets and also budget for all agencies of State under their jurisdiction. Mr Adda warned that it was wrong for any MDA to recruit personnel without clearance from the employing agency of state or the Sector Ministry mandated to do so.
In one of the presentations, the Bawku Municipal Assembly estimated to spend 1,736,033.00 Ghana Cedis on priority projects in the Education Sector in its 2014 budget. It will spend GHc 819,598.00 on Waste management, GH c257, 085.54 on Health and GHc103, 104.00 on Agriculture. The Assembly however listed low revenue mobilisation, delays in disbursement of DACF, inadequate office vehicles and office accommodation, poor road network and fear of eruption of the Bawku Ethnic conflict as some obstacles that can affect the full realisation of its budgets targets.
The Kassena-Nankana Municipal Assembly with an estimated population of 109,944 planned to spend GH80, 000.00 from its DACF allocation on activities for persons with disabilities, GH c11, 295.oo to improve institutional coordination for agricultural development and also to spend GH c149, 000.00 for the construction of a CHPS facility as well as pump GHc40, 000.00 into the haulage of food supplies from WFP stores to supplementary feeding and nutrition centres across the municipality. Meanwhile, the Assembly will use GHc1, 600,000.00 to feed pupils from selected Schools enrolled under the Ghana School Feeding Programme.
Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)