MPs, Chief Executives Fight
MINISTER FOR Local Government and Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo has complained about the current trend where Members of Parliament (MP) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE) use the Common Fund to undermine each other to the disadvantage of the people.
He said this is derailing the real use of the District Assembly Common Fund which is meant for collective and mutually beneficial projects for the majority instead of the minority in the districts and constituencies.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo was speaking at a two-day workshop held in Ho over the weekend for the parliamentary press corps. The workshop which was themed 'The District Assemblies Common Fund, Good Governance and Accountability' was to build the capacity of the press corps on the utilization of the fund.
He lamented that instead of the Common Fund binding MMDCEs and MPs together to develop their areas, it had rather torn them apart and in some cases made them sworn enemies.
The minister also noted that some MPs, MMDCEs, assembly members and other opinion leaders in the various districts who know the real use of the fund have misinformed the populace about it for political reasons.
The former, assembly member, MP and regional minister who narrated how he suffered similar plots over the years called for a stop to the practice adding 'MPs should always liaise with the various municipal and district assemblies in developing their areas so that the majority of the people benefit satisfactorily from the Common Fund.'
'I urge all stakeholders, particularly the media to continually educate the chiefs and other traditional leaders on the real use of the Common Fund to erase the perception that it is for school fees, building palaces and sharing among party members,' he added.
The minister dismissed the perception that MCEs and DCEs inflate the cost of projects, saying 'It is very difficult for a DCE or MCE to inflate the cost of projects because the system will not allow it.'
He consequently called for assemblies to engage project management consultants to explain these issues to the media and the public to correct this erroneous perception.
He lauded the initiative of the parliamentary press corps and the will by the Common Fund Administration to fund the workshop and assured participants of his ministry's support at all times.
He also called on journalists to go into specialization to help give more informed and in-depth reportage on issues affecting the country.
Administrator of the Common Fund, Kojo Fynn was optimistic the workshop will help erase a lot of misconceptions about the Common Fund and ensure transparency, accountability and proper use of funding in the various districts and municipalities.
From Fred Duodu, Ho