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05.08.2009 Politics

PM of STAM protests against Common Fund deductions

By Alfred Adams Sekondi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The Presiding Member of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Mohammed Ali, has protested against deductions made from their share of the District Assembly Common Fund by the Common Fund Secretariat (CFS).

He described the action as pure thievery, and therefore unlawful, since it would deprive them of the chance to pursue development projects they had earmarked for this year.

Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle in Takoradi recently, Ali noted that STMA was allotted a total of GH¢563,664.35, as its share of the common fund for the first quarter of this year.

Out of this amount the following deductions were made, GH¢197,282.52 for the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), GH¢15,000 for Fumigation, GH¢75,000 for Waste Management, with the National Association of Local Government (NALAG) dues attracting GH¢1,803.70.

According to him, the deductions appear to have affected all the assemblies, and therefore wondered how those who depend solely on the Common Fund can mobilise funds to develop their respective districts.

With regards to the STMA, Ali said they were heavily indebted therefore the amount that has been released to them would go into debt servicing.

He continued that for the past three years, the Assembly had not been able to undertake any significant development in the metropolis, because of the continued deduction from their share of the Common Fund by the Common Fund Secretariat.

The Presiding Member argued that a separate budget be created to cater for the NYEP officials, instead of deductions from their share.

He added that the Common Fund was meant to augment the internally generated funds of the assembly to undertake infrastructural development therefore the policy of deductions must be reviewed.

He pledged to liaise with all the municipal and district assemblies in the region to meet to discuss the subject, and officially send a petition to the government to reconsider the decision.

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