By Bajin D. Pobia, GNA
Monyupelle, UWR, Sept 10, GNA - Some residents of Monyupelle Community in the Nandom District have appealed to government to release the District Assemblies Common Fund to enable the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to carry out development projects.
The residents said they were not getting adequate satisfaction from the Assembly regarding the provision of basic infrastructure and social amenities.
The community borehole had broken down for some time now and the people had no access to potable water, while it was not also connected to the national electricity grid to help boost cottage industry and enhance livelihoods.
At a Social Accountability forum held at Monyupelle on Sunday, the residents said that they have been paying taxes to the Assembly but lacked basic social facilities in the community.
“Taxes paid to the Nandom District Assembly have not benefited us as expected. Anytime we went to the Nandom District Assembly to put our demands across, we are always told there is no money in the Assembly’s coffers’ to implement projects,” the residents said.
The participants said the situation was worrying as it was discouraging residents from responding appropriately to their tax obligations because they felt the Assembly was not adequately providing the needed development projects to enhance livelihoods.
They explained that many of the assemblies depended largely on the Common Fund to implement development project, and therefore any delay on the part of government to release money to the assemblies could have rippling effects on rural development and the welfare of people.
Some of the contributors also appealed to government to provide jobs for the youth to enable them to work and raise money to pay taxes regularly and promptly for the assembly to undertake development projects.
Mr. William Safo Mumuni, Assistant Director at the Nandom District Assembly in response to the residents, explained that the Assembly got its share of the last release of the District Development Fund in 2013 and that out of the GH¢108,000.00 budgeted for this year only 45,000.00 Ghana Cedis had been raised as at September.
He said the Assembly had taken notice of all the development challenges in the communities, especially communities which had not been connected to the national electricity grid and those that had their boreholes broken down had been factored into the Mid- Term Development Plan of the Assembly to be addressed.
Mr Mumuni appealed to people in the District to endeavour to pay their taxes regularly and promptly to enable the Assembly to raise more revenue to undertake development project in the communities.
He said the forum was organised to gather evidence on what citizens knew about the plans and budget of the Assembly, and why they must take active interest in local government programmes.
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) a civil society organisation through Partnership for Rural Development Action (PRUDA) also a local nongovernmental organisation is implementing the project with funding from Open Society for Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to increase demand for transparency, participation and feedback in local government planning and budgeting processes through citizens’ participation.
The project is designed by CDD-Ghana, OSIWA and Nandom District Assembly to ensure that citizens began to build a more productive partnership with the assembly and provide feedback and opinions on projects and social service delivery to the assembly so that the assembly could take action and improve service delivery, especially education, health, and sanitation among others.
It is also to make known the programmes and activities of the assembly, and what projects the assembly planned to implement as well as its finances to the citizens.
PRUDA is implementing the project in the Nandom District, supporting and disseminating information on promoting social accountability through citizens’ participation in local governance around local government budgeting and planning systems.