Accra, May 31, GNA
- Nana Ofei Aboagye Agyemang II, a lecturer has urged civil society groups to
liaise with their assembly members to get deeper insight into activities of
their metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
He gave the advice when he presented a paper at the Third Quarter Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) meeting at the Ledzekuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly in (LEKMA).
Nana Agyemang, who lectures at the Institute of Local Government Studies, explained that such engagements would afford civil society, better understanding and appreciation of the work of MMAs and the proper allocation of resources to their felt needs.
His presentation was on Public Financial Management Processes of Local Authorities; Development Planning; and Budgeting and Revenue Management of Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs).
Nana Agyemang, who is also the chief of Senchi in the Eastern Region, said civil society engagement, particularly in the budgeting processes on the MMAs, is important to increase efficiency in budget allocation, improve accountability and management, as well as increase trust between citizens and government.
He said it would reduce social exclusion and poverty, and strengthen democratic practices.
Nana Agyemang said the key interest of civil society organisations, such as SPEFA, must therefore be focused on fee fixing meetings and resolutions of the General Assembly.
Speaking on participatory planning, Nana Agyemang said civic engagement is particularly useful in the development planning stage to ensure that limited resources of the government are properly allocated to issues and problems that are relevant to the citizens.
On Budgeting and Revenue Management, Nana Agyemang explained that this is a type of participatory democracy in which people decide how to allocate part of a public budget.
Madam Nora Ollennu, Chief Executive Officer of Intervention Forum, who is also the Focal Person for the LEKMA Citizens Group, said the Forum is a further step directed at rendering local government institutions accountable and responsive to the local people.
Regarding the issues on budgeting and revenue management, Madam Ollennu said while the assembly carries out this function, citizens must also have a decisive role to play in ensuring that limited resources allocated are judiciously used to address pressing and relevant local needs.
During a group working session, the participants deplored the poor state of social amenities and development in their communities, as well as the lack of consultation between them and their assembly members.
Madam Ollennu called on the members as well as chiefs and other opinion leaders within the LEKMA to attend town hall meetings to avail themselves of the opportunity to put into practice the training they had received.