Aug 31, GNA – Mr James Zuugah Tiigah, Upper East Regional Minister has entreated
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to be more transparent
by publishing on their notice boards amount of money they (MMDAs) receive to
undertake development projects.
He also suggested that MMDAs publish their budgets on their notice boards to enable the citizenry to track development projects in relation to the approved budgets to ensure transparency and accountability.
Mr Zuugah Tiigah made the suggestions when launching the Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project in Tamale on Thursday.
The GSAM is a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) -funded project that seeks to strengthen citizens’ oversight of capital development projects to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance.
The project supports local civil society organizations (CSOs) to monitor and disseminate information to citizens on capital development projects of 100 selected district assemblies to enable citizens hold their authorities accountable and demand improved service delivery.
CARE International in Ghana, IBIS in Ghana and Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) are working together as a consortium to implement the project from 2014 to 2019.
Some of the district assemblies benefiting from the project in the Northern Region include East Gonja, Gushegu, Karaga, Tolon, West Gonja, Bole, Zabzugu and North Gonja.
Mr Zuugah Tiigah argued that publishing of budgets and other funds by MMDAs would help dispel the perception that capital projects formed the basis for technocrats and politicians to enrich themselves.
He said capital development projects were undertaken with the tax payers’ money and therefore, there was need to handle the resources judiciously hence the need to share information on such resources to ensure effective decentralization process in the country.
He called on the consortium implementing the GSAM project to consider providing some training for the in-coming assembly members, CSOs and other opinion leaders on how to monitor the use of resources by the MMDAs to ensure success of the project.
Mr Zuugah Tiigah also expressed need for involvement of the citizenry in the planning and formulation of policies and programmes to ensure effective decentralization in the country.
Mr Emmanuel Abeliwine, Director of Governance Programme of IBIS in Ghana said the GSAM project was in tandem with the pillar four of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda, which outlined support for citizens based monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programmes.
Mr Mohammed Aminu Lukumanu, District Chief Executive (DCE) for East Gonja, who spoke on behalf of his colleague DCEs, assured of ensuring transparency by publishing funds of the district assemblies as well as operating open-door administration.GNA