Distrct Assemblies Broke
The poor financial status of the government seems to have impact decentralized institutions, especially Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country.
MMDAs heavily rely on central government for subvention to operate and augment Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to enhance the decentralization process.
But the operations of most MMDAs in the three Northern regions are gradually grinding to a halt, as there are no funds to undertake various development projects due to delays in the release of the District Assembly Common Fund, which has been in arrears for about three quarters.
The Minister of Finance Seth Tekper admitted on a number of radio stations in Accra that the country was in red and may be on a brink of bankruptcy.
Almost all MMDAs in the three poorest regions of the country are unable to internally generate funds to execute development projects and solely rely on District Assembly Common Fund in this respect.
As such some assemblies are unable to even fuel their official vehicles, as their credit worthiness at some filling stations in the districts is in doubt.
Most of them have been turned away by the owners due to their indebtedness.
According to one of the District Coordinating Directors, who pleaded anonymity, the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) could not even cater for electricity and water bills of the assemblies as well as minor projects.
He told DAILY GUIDE that IGF was woefully inadequate especially for the new districts, indicating that support from international donors for projects was no longer forthcoming.
According to an unnamed District Finance Officer in the Northern Region, it was a normal practice for the funds to be in arrears for at least a quarter.
The officer stressed that the situation was alarming.
Contractors, who executed projects for the assemblies including suppliers, he added, were always at the districts to demand payment for certificates.
Meanwhile checks at the Common Fund Secretariat suggest that the assemblies would not receive funds anytime soon since the government is facing several challenges including payment of ex-gratia to former ministers and DCEs.
This development has negatively affected Persons with Disability (PWDs) since the various assemblies have failed to disburse three per cent of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to them.