The Lawra District Assembly has called on the public to endeavour to seek the requisite information and demand accountability from the Assembly and other duty bearers in the district.
At a forum aimed at promoting social accountability through citizens’ participation in local governance, members agreed that one could not hold another accountable if he did not have adequate information about the activities of the person.
The social accountability forum themed: “Building Transparency, Participation and Feedback around Local Government Budgeting and Planning Systems”, was attended by chiefs, queen mothers, Assembly and Unit Committee members, youth groups and some Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
Mr Simon Wunpini Bangni, an Assistant Director One at the Lawra District Assembly, who made the call, urged the public to take active interest in participating in the Assembly’s planning and budgeting processes such that they would be properly informed about how resources belonging to the district are being utilized.
He said the social accountability project came into being as a result of a research conducted by the Center for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD) which exposed the weak level of citizens’ engagement in the Assembly’s planning and budgeting processes.
Mr Bangni, who is also the District Focal Person for the Social Accountability Project, commended CDD for not just identifying the weakness but also taking the needed steps through the initiation of the project to help the Assembly overcome such weaknesses.
He urged all Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to complement the effort of the Assembly to develop the district and avoid sitting on the fence, criticizing and doing nothing to help.
Mr Issifu Salifu Kanton, Executive Director of Community Development Alliance (CDA), reminded the people that the Assembly was not just the secretariat but the entire people of Lawra District.
He said those who worked at the Assembly secretariat were hired and paid by the government to deliver services for and on behalf of the people of the district, hence the need for citizens in the district to take interest in knowing what those hired were doing on their behalf so they could demand accountability from them.
Mr Kanton said the public have a responsibility to ensure that they did not just cooperate with the Assembly but also supported it to deliver on its mandate.
The Social Accountability Project is an initiative of CDD Ghana and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) with CDA serving as the local implementing partner.
Mr Steven Kpen, the Presiding Member (PM) for the Lawra District Assembly, said accountability is the key to efficient utilization of resources and pledged on behalf of his colleagues that they would go back and help educate their communities to understand the need for them to participate fully in the planning and budgeting processes of the Assembly.