By Hayford O-Akrofi, GNA
Accra, April 16, GNA - The Ablekuma North Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Kofi Ofori has urged the citizenry to honour their obligations to the state by paying taxes, levies, rates, duties and other fees help to fast-track development projects in their communities.
In a statement read on his behalf in Accra during a Social Auditing Programme organized by the Municipal National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), he encouraged the citizenry to be interested in how the taxes they pay are used.
He urged them to closely monitor projects in their various communities to ensure "value for money " for such projects.
Having interest in the activities of the various assemblies by community members, Mr. Ofori said, would " put those entrusted with resources to develop their areas on their toes at all times "
He posited that even though citizens were obliged to pay their taxes to ensure development by the government, they at same time had the right to know how the taxes paid were utilized.
The Deputy Greater Accra Director (Administration), NCCE, Ms Mercy Essien urged citizens to demand accountability from duty bearers to ensure that they were not " short circuited "
Duty bearers Ms. Essien said, had the responsibility to properly account for every money entrusted in their hands for development on behalf of the people.
Those in authority she said, should see their positions as a privilege to serve the people and not to "Lord over them"
The Municipal NCCE Director, Mr. Richmond Okoaben-Mensah said the Constitution of Ghana has given the NCCE the mandate to engage, educate and empower Ghanaians to know their Civic Rights and Responsibilities so that they can play their role as active citizens.
Mr. Okoaben-Mensah said the Social Auditing programme will afford community members to know the plans, policies and programmes of the municipal assembly in order to closely monitor their activities.
The programme also he said, will promote community ownership of development projects and policies, increase awareness of the operations of the local government and empower the citizenry to demand accountability from duty bearers.
Persons outside government operations, he said, will be given the opportunity to influence policy made, evaluation and implementation.
Key problems which were identified and the Municipal Assembly charged to address were the poor road network across the length and breadth of the municipality, poor drainage system causing floods at the onset of the rainy season and the invasion of bedbugs at the Wesley Grammar Senior High School. The assembly was also urged to enact a by-law to make it obligatory for every household to own a toilet.
Stakeholders at the forum included traditional authorities, assembly members, the clergy and Muslim Chiefs, Heads of Departments, traders associations as well as dressmakers and beauticians.