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Naa Torshie Faces MPS Over Common Fund Allocation Brouhaha

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Mrs. Irene NaaTorshie Addo-Lartey, administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), has been summoned by Parliament over her controversial directive to the Assemblies to use eighty percent (80%) of their allocations to fund certain flagship programmes of the government.

The directive, which has generated public interest, received the attention of the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon, Alban Sumani Bagbin, who directed on Thursday May 24th 2018 that the DACF administrator appears before the House alongside the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon Hajia Alima Mahama, to explain the rationale behind the directive.

The Administrator recently directive the assemblies to use 40% of their share of the Fund for the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), 20% for the payment of salaries of the Nation Builders’ Corp (NaBCo) employees and 20% for the operations of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.

Local government experts, civil society organizations (CSOs), politicians and former District Chief Executives (DCEs) have expressed mixed reactions over the issue, with some calling the move unconstitutional.

Speaking to THE PUBLISHER, the Minority Deputy Chief Whip and Member for Banda, Ibrahim Ahmed, who made the request for the presence of the Administrator in the House, fingered government for depriving the assemblies of the needed resources for their development projects, warning that the directive might create an avenue for “grand corruption”.

He further warned that the move could suffocate some assemblies, especially those outside Accra.

He therefore called on government to send the full allocations, as approved by Parliament, to the various assemblies, in view of the fact that each assembly has unique needs.

“What Accra people need is different from what Nakpanduri and Kpandai need. When Accra people, Kumasi people are using computers, Kpandai people are using their hands to do double clicking.”

The District Assemblies Common Fund Act – 1993 (Act 455) indicates that: The monies accruing to the District Assemblies in the Common Fund shall be distributed among all the District Assemblies on the basis of a formula approved by Parliament, (5) For the purpose of determining the formula under sub-section (4) of this section, the Administrator appointed under section 3 shall within six months after his appointment, and thereafter, within three months after the end of every financial year, submit to Parliament proposals for the formula for the consideration of Parliament.

In a related development, the National Identification Authority (NIA) is expected to brief Parliament on the roll out plan for the National Identity Cards.

By: Frederick E. Aggrey

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