19.02.2008 Business & Finance

Districts Access Private Capital

By Daily Guide
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GOVERNMENT IS to institute a Municipal Finance and Management Initiative (MFMI) by November this year to enable the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA) to access private capital for development.

In view of this, a proposed bill will soon be placed before Parliament for consideration.

A technical workshop for that matter was last Wednesday held for Parliamentarians and their development partners at Agona Swedru in the Central Region.

The bill will provide a comprehensive law on how private capital and other resources could be channeled to the assemblies in order for them to undertake more infrastructure development. It would also provide other services for more efficiency.

Addressing the participants, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, announced that the bill, if passed by Parliament, would enhance the credit and progress of the MFMI to allow MMDAs to solicit funds for their development projects without depending on the Central Government for funding.

According to him, government policies would complement the MFMI laws to develop investor confidence and comfort in areas such as numerical ceiling of borrowing, credit assessment and rating systems.

Prof. Gyan-Baffour noted that government through the bill would put in place a comprehensive decentralization policy to provide adequate and guaranteed fiscal decentralization framework for stabilized and robust municipal financing.

“The role of development partners in the success of this initiative cannot be over-emphasised. Government is therefore expecting her development partners among others to support and provide technical guidance in the establishment and operations of the Municipal Finance Authority”.

He further stated that the initiative would enhance the power of the local government to own, control and manage important expenditure discussions to address the problem of deficit in infrastructure provision and service delivery.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE), Maxwell Kofi Jumah remarked that as the country intensified its quest for accelerated growth, it was becoming increasingly important that all levels of government be positioned to contribute towards the funding of social and economic infrastructure to underpin the national growth agenda.

He disclosed that government was creating the enabling environment by formulating the main status governing local level investment funding.

He commended the World Bank, Cities Alliance and UN-Habitat for conducting the first international conference on the initiative and therefore called on all to contribute towards its success.

A Deputy Resident Manager of Agence Francoise de Development, Mr. Yves Guicquero, said his agency fully shares the government of Ghana's strategy of giving more responsibility and resources to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in order to increase and improve service delivery at the local level.

From Sarah Afful, Agona Swedru

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