The Northern Region Minister, Hon. Shani Alhassan Shaibu has lamented the generation of funds internally by District assemblies in the northern regions to meet the developmental needs of communities.
He reiterated that most of these Assemblies have a weak revenue base resulting in the over-reliance on external funding sources, especially the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).
The Government, he noted, was aware of these difficulties related to security and the maintenance of law and order.
It is also aware of the application of rule of law in these areas and has not hesitated to come in as Regional Security Council and Regional Coordinating Council in time of such difficulties, which go beyond Assemblies.
Hon. Shaibu said these at a refresher course for Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.
The three-day course, which is categorised, is the third in the series organised by the Ministry to build the capacity of Chief Executives and avail them to share ideas with peers and local governance and policy experts.
Hon. Shaibu revealed that there are arrangements by the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) to engage MMDAs in the five regions to tackle the issue.
Meeting with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) will provide a forum for regional interaction to improve performance delivery.
The Regional Minister was hopeful that continuous interactions would provide a common ground and understanding in handling issues in the regions. It will also bring out other challenges in local governance that need attention.
“Some of the challenges such as funding and timely releases of funds will catapult decentralisation activities from the centre and management of conflicts through collective discussions, he added.
Hon. Daniel Botwe said District Assemblies need the requisite capacities to handle the responsibilities given under the law to bring decentralisation to fruition.
MMDCEs, he observed, is mandated to transform the local economy and preside over the creation of jobs for people in their localities through the initiation of programmes for growth and transformation of the economy, such as “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One Million Dollars One Constituency”, “One District One Factory” and “One Village One Dam” as well as “Agenda 111” policy initiatives.
According to the Hon. Minister, the refresher course was timely, which was timely to enhance competencies and leadership skills to enable MMDCEs to deliver on their mandates.
The 66 Chief Executives from the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Savannah and Bono East Regions attended the programme.
There were presentations from Hon. Osei Bonsu Amoah, Hon. Augustine Collins Ntim, Hon. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah Deputy Ministers from the Ministry; Dr Ing. Nana Ato Arthur, Head, Office of the Local Government Service; Dr Nicholas Awortwi, Director, Institute of Local Government Studies and others.
Source: Public Relations Unit (MLGDRD)