The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Akwasi Opong-Fosu, has given indications that the backlog of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) would be cleared as soon as possible.
He said the DACF had been paid up to the third quarter of 2013 and Cabinet had directed the Ministry and the Ministry of Finance to make sure that all outstanding arrears for the backlog for the fourth quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014 were cleared.
He noted that the Ministry as part of its efforts in strengthening the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), provided investment and capacity building grants under the District Development Facility (DDF) and Urban Development Grant (UDF).
Mr Opong-Fosu said this when he outlined progress on policy development and implementation in relation to Decentralization and Local Governance, Environment, Health and Sanitation, Urban Development and Rural Development.
He said since the inception, GH₵ 36,806,651 had been transferred under UDG, whiles GH₵ 332,293,965.95 had been transferred under the DDF to MMDAs, adding that arrangements were being done to transfer the latest DDF and UDG allocations to MMDAs.
During the period under review, GH₵ 73 million was transferred to MMDAs based on 2010 FOAT for infrastructure development.
The Minister disclosed that all MMDAs had utilized the funds for the provision of socio-economic infrastructure in the areas of education, health and sanitation.
He said the provision of educational, health and sanitation facilities from the DDF investment had contributed immensely to improving access to basic services and also increased the infrastructure stock of the MMDAs
According to the Minister, the 2012 FOAT assessment was carried out in July, 2013 adding the 216 MMDAs that passed would benefit from an earmarked investment grant of GH₵ 128.4million
He said as at the end of 2013, a total cumulative number of 3,570 sub-projects had been funded since the inception of DDF; out of which a total of 3,498 representing 98 per cent had been completed and in use.
The Minister added that five cross-country vehicles had been procured and distributed to the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West and Eastern Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) to facilitate coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the MMDAs by the RCCs.
He said equipment for implementation of street naming by the MMDAs had been procured and would be handed over to them in May for the work to begin in July.
He urged people with complaints on local governance to first of all contact their respective MMDAs for redress, declaring that it was only when they were not satisfied with the outcome that they could appeal to a higher authority like RCCs or the Ministry.