Minority accuses government of ‘preying’ on Common Fund for flagship programmes

Politics of Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Source: 3news.com

2018-05-29

The minority in parliament has kicked against government’s intention to fund projects with DACF

The Minority in Parliament says government is desperate to fulfill the many promises it made to Ghanaians as it has resorted to spending a huge chunk of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) for its flagship projects.

According to the Minority, government has written to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to allocate 80 per cent of the DACF for its priority projects.

The Minority says that by this directive, every assembly will be left with only GH¢713,385.81 on the average for discretionary spending.

The Minority expressed this worry on Tuesday when it met journalists in Accra.

Led by the Deputy Ranking Member of the Local Government and Rural Development Committee, Benjamin Kpodo, the Minority told government to explore and find other means of funding its flagship programmes.

While in opposition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised numerous programmes and policies some of which have seen fulfillment.

For instance, the Free SHS policy was implemented in September, 2017.

The allowances of trainee nurses and teachers were also restored.

Other programmes have, however, not seen the light of day.

Programmes such as $1 million per each constituency under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) and ‘One-Village, One-Dam’ are yet to kick-start.

“The government should explore and find other means of funding its flagship programmes and projects as directed by Parliament on March 22, 2018,” Mr Kpodo, who is also MP for Ho Central Constituency, said.

“It has become notorious for government to write to the DACF to prey on its resources whenever it needs money for anything extra budget.”

‘Kwashiorkor & Typhoid’

Mr Kpodo said the directive for MMDAs to use 80 per cent of their budgetary allocation solely for government priority projects endangers the very existence of those local authorities.

He explained that some of the MMDAs solely depend on the DACF to survive because of the limited flow in internally generated funds (IGFs).

“Such districts will therefore be heavily exposed financially and could be heading for stagnation and even collapse.

“This one it is not only Kwashiorkor. I think Typhoid has also been added.”

It said government should do the right thing and desist from the “illegality” as even the breakdown of the allocation of the Fund is at the courts.

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