The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, has charged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs),in the region to prepare a development-focused budget.
He said the budget should allocate and utilize adequate financial resources for social services delivery, infrastructural, economic development and environmental management.
Mr Quartey said such an initiative would help create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive and beef up Internally Generated Funds (IGF) inflow for the Assemblies.
Mr Quartey made the call at the opening of the Regional Budget Hearing for all 29 MMDAs in the region, in Accra.
Being held across the country from October 18 to 21, the Budget Hearing was aimed at further deepening participatory budgeting and accountability at the local level.
It would further offer the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) with support from the National Technical Working Team the opportunity to jointly review the MMDAs revenue and expenditure performance for 2021 and the targets set for 2022-2025.
Additionally, the hearings would ensure that budget allocation reflects the objectives and strategies of government policies and are also in line with the 2022-2025 Budget Preparation Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance.
Currently, Mr Quartey stated that, mobilization of IGF by MMDAs was plagued with inefficiencies which undermine their ability to realize the full potentials of local revenue.
This, he said, had resulted in the Assemblies not being able to raise enough funds for the delivery of much-needed services such as sanitation and waste management, education and health infrastructure, roads, streetlights, drainage, street naming and property addressing system.
The minister stated that the situation had compelled MMDAs to rely on central government transfers and funding from Development Partners, to complement their local revenue sources.
He said that over-reliance on external sources was detrimental to development at the local level.
He said the Greater Accra Region was doing well as compared to other regions in terms of IGF collection over the past four years.
Mr Quartey, however, said there was the need to increase the IGF, considering the number of residential and commercial properties sited in the region and new properties springing up, which could serve as a major revenue source.
He asked the MMDAs to take necessary steps to address challenges impacting revenue collection and devote resources to implement strategies outlined in their Revenue Improvement Action Plan.
Mr Quartey urged officers managing the finances of the Assemblies, including Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors end Finance Officers to operate within the framework of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
He said they should also apply relevant laws and regulations, to avoid the rate of infractions raised in the Auditor General’s report on an annual basis, and also improve on the financial management system at the MMDA level.
EboAmoah, Head of Fiscal Decentralization Unit, Ministry of Finance, cautioned the Assemblies against engaging in financial transactions without using the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
He said such improper transactions were resulting in the continued build-up of arrears and judgment debt, which were crippling MMDAs.
In the face of scarce resources, Mr Amoah urged them to make allocations to priority projects in the MMDAs medium-term plans.