80% of Ghanaians in rural areas left out of planning, budgeting at MMDAs

A survey conducted by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana in 40 district across the country has revealed that about 80% of Ghanaians in the  local areas are always left out in the  Metropolitan, Municipal and District  Assembly’s (MMDAs) planning and budgeting process.

The survey reveals that though Ghana is rated high among few Sub-Saharan African countries on budget transparency, recent statistics reveal a decline from an average of 54 percent to 51 percent in 2015 which is described as a source of worry.

The survey also shows that the government of Ghana provides limited Budget information to the public making it a difficult for the citizenry to hold the government accountable.

Addressing participants at the launch of the CDD Ghana social accountability projects in Tamale, the Programmes Manager of CDD Ghana Paul Osei-Kuffour said the projects is to build the capacity of citizens to monitor budgetary allocations of MMDAs and to track how these allocations were expended.

He said the project is also to enhance the understanding of media practitioners on local governance issues in other for them to give an informed reportage on finance and budgets of MMDAs to the public.

The projects implemented by CDD Ghana and funded by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is aimed at bridging the gap between citizens and district Assemblies with regards to citizen’s engagement, access to information and participation in the activities of MMDAs.

Mr Osei-Kuffour said building the capacity of the citizenry will enable them participate actively in the local government processes especially the planning and budgetary processes of MMDAs.

Mr Osei Kuffour urged the participants to educate citizens on the need to zealously participate in decision making on district assemblies monitoring, budgeting and planning processes.