The Lawra Municipal Assembly has rendered accounts to the people of the municipal area as part of efforts by officials to deepen transparency and accountability in Ghana’s local governance system.
The citizens were taken through the Assembly’s financial inflows and expenditures during a Town Hall Meeting in Lawra where several people attended to witness proceedings and contribute to the discussions.
It was on the theme: “Improving service delivery, transparency and accountability through feedback and dialogue on Local Government plans and budget”.
Mr Anthony Kumih, the Lawra Municipal Budget Officer who facilitated the accounting process noted the Assembly was able to mobilize GH¢83,985.80 in 2017 out of a target of 164,783.60, representing 50.97 per cent.
When Ghana Government and Donor Funds were combined, the Assembly had GH¢2,561,319.58, he added, representing 42.83 percent in 2017.
Inadequate mobilisation of Internally Generated Funds (IGF), inadequate release of funding for project implementation and delay in the release of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), he noted were just a few of the many revenue challenges confronting the Assembly.
For 2018, Mr Kumih said the Assembly targeted to collect GH¢164,783.60 as IGF, but was able to collect GH¢32,907.00 as at end of March, which translates into 20 per cent.
On Central Government Funds which comprised the DACF, the District Development Fund (DDF) and salaries among others, he said the Assembly targeted GH¢5,829,003.98, but had received GHC564,452.13 representing 9.7 percent.
Mr. Kumih noted that the Assembly targeted a total amount of GH¢396,273.32 as donor funds but had not received anything as at end of March 2018.
On expenditure performance as at March 2018, the Budget Officer hinted that an amount of GHC168,107.49 was spent from the Assembly Funds on compensation out of a budgeted amount of GH¢1,749,108.00 representing 9.6 percent.
He said the Assembly spent a total of GHC 241,781 out of a budgeted amount of GH¢1,369,552.25 representing 17.7 percent on goods and services as at end of March 2018.
Mr. Kumih noted that an amount of GH¢109,631.00 was spent on development projects as at end of March 2018 out of a budgeted amount of GH¢3,246,400.65 representing 3.4 percent.
He said the Assembly had prioritised to purchase a vehicle for the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) this year at a cost of GH¢202,955.00, construct a pavilion at the DCEs residence at the cost of GH¢44,446.38, procure motor bikes for Assembly members, Area Councils and the police to facilitate their work at a cost of GH¢125,000.00.
A total amount of GH¢136,200.00 was also expected to be spent from the Self Help Project Fund (community initiated projects), he said.
Mr Martin D. Bomba-ire, the Lawra MCE used the occasion to appeal to citizens to cooperate with the Assembly to stop open defecation to befit their status as a Municipality.
Mr. Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director of Community Development Alliance (CDA) urged the citizens to get involved in the activities of the Assembly to contribute their quota to the development agenda of the Municipality and also to ensure transparency and accountability.
The Lawra Town Hall Meeting was organised by the Centre for Democratic Development in partnership with CDA with funding from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa under the project “Strengthening Social Accountability and Citizens’ Participation in District Assembly Planning and Budgeting Processes”.