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26.11.2003 Business & Finance

Common Fund Administrator disburse C1,580.22 bn

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Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - Mr Joshua Magnus Nicol, Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) on Wednesday said since 1994 the fund had received and disbursed 1,580.22 billion.

He said in 2000 the fund received 192.329 billion cedis, 292.675 billion cedis in 2001; the amount for 2002 was 292.675 billion cedis and 581.59 billion cedis in 2003.

Mr Nicol stated at the National launch of a regional forum to assess the impact of the DACF on the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) in Accra.

The regional impact assessment would provide a better understanding of broad objectives, set goals and the roles of the district assemblies, civil society organisations and the private sector.

It would also share experience on other strategies aimed at reducing poverty.

Mr Nicol said the 2003 figure calls for critical examination of the DACF and its impact on the economy, especially in the area of poverty reduction.

The examination would ensure that a holistic approach to poverty reduction culminating in growth and prosperity in the country.

He said guidelines for utilization of the Common Fund ensures that assemblies draw their programmes to be in line with the GPRS to ensure that all Ghanaians irrespective of their socio-economic status, or where they reside had access to social services such as health care, quality education, potable drinking water decent housing, security and ability to participate in decisions making process.

The Common Fund Administrator said DACF had also been used as a source of financial power to all district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies, "without the fund nothing goes on in almost all the assemblies."

Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, NALAG General Secretary said the fight against poverty would only succeed if government exhibits real political and financial commitment.

He therefore, called on government to adopt pro-poor planning, programming and strategies at all levels of governance with inputs from the poor and the marginalized.

"It is in the light of this that the GPRS is welcomed. It has in it proposed district development themes, which include accelerated infrastructure development, modernized agricultural production methods, good governance and private sector development.

"These are indeed lofty ideas that need to be brought closer to the people for whom the document is made."

The National Association of Local Authorities (NALAG) and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development jointly launched the programme, which was chaired by Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Director General of National Development Planning Commission.

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