The central government’s appetite for cash has seen a denials of Common Fund cash belonging to the 275 lawmakers of Ghana’s parliament for a year, posing threat to developmental needs of constituencies, First Deputy Minority Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed told THE REPUBLIC in parliament last Thursday.
Some Members of Parliament have lamented bitterly over the failure of the District Assembly Common Fund to release their MPs share of the fund to them for the year 2019.
The situation has undoubtedly starved some of the MPs, especially the Minority members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and those who are not ministers of state of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP)
According to Hon. Ahmed, who is MP for Banda in the Bono region, the government through the Common Fund Administrator is in arrears for a period of four quarters and is affecting their capacity to deliver on their pledges to their constituents.
“My brother, we are in the last quarter of the year, and many of us have not received our Common Funds, I am just hearing some have received the first quarrier. The rest, we don’t know when it will come. We are becoming unpopular with our constituents because we are unable to meet basic pledges,” said the First Deputy Minority Whip in interviews with THE REPUBLIC.
“For over a year now, we have not been paid…numerous inquiries at the Common Fund Secretariat but to no avail, even the last quarter of 2018 have been paid recently,” he added.
Mr Ahmed said they have very little or no resource to meet their pledges to the constituents since their share of the fund is all that they could depend on for development.
Despite the increased in taxes, numerous loans and bonds acquired by the current government, a general financial crunch has rocked the Akufo Addo -Bawumia led government, with all the statutory funds’ agencies affected.
Revenue raised nationally is meant for redistribution, it does not belong to the national government, but the government worsened the situation by creating authorities and duplicated duties ministries which are taking money from the table- that is supposed to be shared among constituencies.
This, Hon Ahmed expressed no doubt, it affected the governing party recent parliamentary primaries in orphan constituencies.
About 61 appointees, made up of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies(MMDAs) Chief Executives contested in the orphan constituencies, thus Constituencies the NPP does not have a sitting MP.
Out of the number, only five of them managed to sail through having won the primaries to contest as parliamentary candidates for the 2020 general elections, but the rest of about 56 were humiliated at the primaries.
One of such victims of humiliation defeat, was the MCE of Bolga Central Municipality, Joseph Atura Amiyuure. He was left terribly traumatized after losing convincingly in his bid to one Rex Asanga.
Several of these appointees were defeated at the primaries because they performed poorly as representatives of the President at the local level.
“You cannot starve the assemblies, the DCEs with funds and expect them to perform wonders. So we were not surprised many of the DCEs lost the primaries. The grassroots felt disappointed, so they expressed their anger to the President through the DCEs, and the results show, “Mr Ahmed said.
Mr Ahmed described the rejection of over 50 District Chief Executives at the New NPP parliament primaries, as a direct Vote of No Confidence in President Akufo Addo four years misrule as depicted in the increasing of poverty, corruption, divisiveness and polarized nation.
The Banda lawmaker explained that the grassroots members of the NPP have shown that they are in direct alignment with the suffering Ghanaians in rejecting President Akufo and his Vice President Dr Mohammoud Bawumia come 2020.
In his view, the NPP primaries simply exposed the bad policies of the Akufo Addo administration, hence the outright rejection of his appointees by delegates at the primaries.
Almost all the public funds, such as the NHIS Fund, the Road Fund and the Ghana Education Trust Fund are all in arrears.
As at press time on, the Administrator of the DACF was not picking her calls.
Under the Common Fund act,
Part of the Fund is disbursed directly to District Assemblies in accordance with the approved Formula. This is referred to as ‘direct transfers.’’ The MMDAs use the funds for projects and programmes determined by their respective Assemblies. In 2013 and 2014, about 50 per cent of the total amount for the Common Fund was allocated for ‘direct transfer’’ to the Assemblies.
Some of the money from the Fund is also used directed to support a number of important social intervention projects which take place in the Districts but are national in scope. Disbursement for such programmes is referred to as ‘’indirect transfers’’. Some of the national programmes supported by ‘indirect transfers’’ are the School Feeding Programmed, National Borehole Programme, YEA Sanitation Module and Sanitation/Waste Management. Also, about four per cent of the Fund is shared to Members of Parliament for constituency project, one and a half per cent is shared among the 10 Regional Co-ordinating Councils for the supervision of the Assemblies in their respective Regions while two per cent is reserved to meet contingency expenditures.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba