Focus on IGF for development -MMDAs charged
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been asked to look beyond the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and instead focus their energies on improving internally generated revenue which holds the key to their development.
Most assemblies depend largely on the common fund, which is usually inadequate to drive their developmental project but, the Head of the Local Government Service, Dr Callistus Mahama, said that must change if the assemblies were to meet the dreams and aspirations of their people.
Reacting to the recent hue and cry over the delay in the release of the DACF by some assemblies, Dr Mahama stressed that the DACF was established to only give financial support to the assemblies.
‘Expecting the DACF does not mean assemblies should not work hard to improve on their internally generated funds (IGF)”.
Dr Mahama described as untrue recent reports that the fund had delayed and explained that the DACF was structured in such a way that the fourth quarter of the release was paid the following year.
According to him, the fourth quarter of the fund was paid in April, this year, and the first quarter was paid early in September. Besides the releases from the DACF, the Ministry of Finance also released the first quarter direct departmental transfer to district assemblies in June this year and the second quarter was being processed for release later this month.
He indicated that assemblies had a responsibility to look beyond the DACF to other sources of revenue, including the IGF, accrued from the collection of property rates, business operating permits, fees and fines, licenses, market tolls among others.
‘Aside the IGF, the District Development Fund (DDF) and the Urban Development Grant (UDG), which were introduced to award best performing assemblies with funds for their development is also available’, Dr Mahama stated.
‘Indeed, if the IGF is adequately collected and properly accounted for, it will give the assemblies more revenue which they can use on their priority projects.
The difference between the IGF and the DACF is that whereas the assemblies can decide on what to do with their IGF, the government decides for the assemblies what they should do with their share of the common fund ‘,he added.
The DACF was established in 1993 to ensure equitable distribution of the national resources for an even development of the country.
Among others, it also aims at helping the assemblies to improve housing, sanitation management, healthcare delivery and education.
The DACF is a pool of resources created under section 252 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
It is a minimum of five per cent of the national revenue set aside to be shared among all district assemblies in Ghana with a formula approved by Parliament.
The fund is a development fund which enables the use of the nation’s wealth throughout Ghana to the benefit of all citizens.
By the approved formula, 90 per cent of each year’s allocation of the fund is shared among district assemblies.
The remaining five per cent of the fund is shared to the 230 MPs for constituency projects.
Two and half per cent is shared among the 10 Regional Co-ordinating Councils (RCC) to be used for supervision in their respective region.
Two per cent is reserved to meet contingency expenditures. The remaining 0.5 per cent is for the DACF office.
There are 216 assemblies in Ghana and it is made up of six metropolitan, 55 municipal, and 155 districts.
By Naa Lamiley Bentil/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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