Adenta Municipal Assembly sensitizes stakeholders
4/17/2012 2:04:07 PM -
Accra, April 17, GNA - The Adentan Municipal Assembly (AdMA), in conjunction with its partner non-governmental organizations, at the weekend organized a forum on its medium-term development and other action plans for its various stakeholders.
In her welcoming address, Ms Nora Ollenu, Chief Executive Officer of Intervention Forum, a non-governmental organization (NGO), and focal person for the Adentan District Citizen Monitoring Committee (DCMC), said the committee represented a wide stakeholder group.
The DCMC comprised small-scale food crop farmers, women's groups, the youth, persons with disability, NGOs, faith-based organizations, traditional authority, assembly members and district assembly representatives.
The forum was organized with support from IF and SEND-GHANA, another NGO.
The meeting was to ensure that a representative segment of society affected by government policies was captured and informed of the processes involved in the preparation and implementation of the AdMAs Medium-Term Plans, District Development and Action Plans.
Ms Ollenu said developing the nation was the work of all stakeholders and not the preserve of only political leaders and government officials.
'Just as we have rights and a liberty as citizens of this country, so does it echo our responsibilities of ensuring the development of the country,' she stated.
According to Ms Ollenu, the role of the Committee comprised policy education sensitization; participatory research and information gathering; policy advocacy and information sharing; and follow-ups.
Ms Lilian Baeke, Municipal Planning Officer of the AdMA, took the participants through the AdMA's development agenda and action plans.
She explained that an annual action plan indicated the programme of activities derived from the nation's Medium-Term Development Plan (MTDP) prepared by the National Development Planning Commission using the national policy framework.
These, she noted, stemmed from the 1996-2000 action plan, 2003-2005 Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, 2006-2009 Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, and the 2010-2013 Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda.
Ms Baeke outlined the various thematic areas around which every district assembly carried out its programme of activities.
These include ensuring and sustaining macro-economic stability; enhancing competitiveness in Ghana's private sector, and accelerated agricultural modernization.
The other areas were sustainable natural resource management, infrastructure, energy and human development; productivity and employment, transparent and accountable governance as well as oil and gas development.
Ms Baeke also explained the processes of preparing a medium-term development plan, which involved situational analysis, priority setting, development focus, goals and objectives and strategies after which a public hearing was conducted to enable all stakeholders to react to the issues raised.
She dwelt on the profile of the AdMA that stated the physical, natural environment such as the location, climate, natural resources and demographic characteristics as well as spatial distribution.
Other issues captured were the assembly's development focus or priorities, development goals, objectives and strategies, programme of action, action plans, monitoring and evaluation.
Ms Baeke gave the area of the municipality as comprising a land area of about 85 square miles, and a population of 62,715 as given by the 2000 national population and housing census.
With a national population growth of around 2.6 percent, she said the population of the municipality was likely to hit 92,831 if this was confirmed by the 2010 national population and housing census.
She again touched on education, saying the municipality had one of the highest enrolment rates in the Greater Accra region but added that public schools were heavily congested with 60-75 pupils in a class.
Mr. Isaac Biney, Municipal Budget Officer, took the participants through the AdMA's Medium-Term Development, District Development and Action Plans, as well as the District Assembly Common Fund as they related to the national budget.
He said the budget had a budget time frame and, therefore, activities needed to be prioritized and resources allocated to them.
In view of this, Mr Biney said there was the need to identify all sources of revenue, including all potential sources of funding, such as internally generated funds, which are derived from property rates, fees and fines.
The assembly, he explained, did not act in isolation but organized a stakeholders' meeting to decide and agree on fines and fees to be charged by the assembly.
He stressed that a budget committee comprising all the key stakeholders would then come out with a draft that must be approved by the assembly.
The assembly would then send this to the Finance and Administration subcommittee, and finally to the Executive Committee where a consensus is reached before the final figures are approved.
With regard to fees and fines, Mr. Biney said after March 31, every year, all persons and businesses were mandated to pay their fees and fines, adding that the assembly reserved the right to prosecute all defaulters after this deadline.
He therefore entreated all citizens within the AdMA to pay their fees and contribute their quota to enable the AdMA to bring development to their respective areas.
Mr. Biney also educated the gathering on the laws governing the District Assembly Common Fund, which he said, was mainly meant for recurrent expenditure and capital projects.
He also spoke about the difficulties associated with the release of funds from government and donor agencies to the assembly, saying allocations and projects suffered when IGF targets were not attained.
He, therefore, urged the people to work hard to enable the assembly to attain its targets to qualify for funds from the DACF and other sources.