District Assemblies’ projects halted due to GH¢6.2bn owed by gov’t

The finance ministry’s refusal to pay monies due the Common Fund has caused projects in districts to cease due to lack of funds, the Minority in parliament has said.

The arrears owed by government since 2018 has summed up to GH¢6.2billion; a situation which according to them is unacceptable.

The Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza, in an engagement with media after the District Assemblies Common Fund’s Administrator met with the Committee of Parliament, expressed worry over delays in releasing annual allocations to the Fund even though government has received those funds in the form of taxes.

He noted that once the money had been collected in terms of taxes, it was the Minister of Finance’s duty to ensure accounts of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund were credited.

“It is quite clear that since 2018 the Common Fund has been unable to receive an amount of GH¢6.2billion, which is money due in accordance with Article 252(2) of the Constitution – and my colleagues on the Committee will tell you that it is not an option for government to pay the money or not.

“Today, what it means is that there are many Assemblies whose staff go to work and do nothing; basically, they go and sit around a table doing nothing and then close.

“As a result, the Assemblies are unable to provide the services required of them, and this is not good for our country,” he said.

Mr. Agbodza appealed for the Finance Minister to ensure that all monies due the District Assemblies Common Fund are released to enable various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to carry out their functions effectively.

“It’s not as if the money is missing. You have collected the money through taxation, so you have absolutely no right to breach Article 252(2) of the Constitution,” he added.

He further added that failure by government to release the funds will compel the NDC Minority to refrain from engaging in any business from the Business Committee of the House or the Finance Ministry.

“We are very much appalled, and we hope that our colleagues on the other side will support us to encourage or compel the Finance Minister to make the expected releases to the Common Fund – so that those monies will go to the District Assemblies and benefit the people of this country.”

Source: thebftonline.com