20.08.2004 Regional News

District assemblies must explore new revenue sources - President

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Nsueam-Kyekyewere (C/R), Aug 19, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor, on Thursday called on the newly created district assemblies to explore alternative sources of revenue to supplement their share of the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF).

He said the Common Fund was designed to supplement the financial resources of the assemblies and not as a substitute.

President Kufuor made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the inauguration of the newly created Assin South District, at Nsueam- Kyekyeware, in the Central Region.

He observed that poor revenue mobilization had been a major setback for effective grassroots participation in the decision-making process and the provision of essential service. President Kufuor asked communities, which have expressed frustrations for not being nominated for district assembly status to remain calm.

He explained that it was the intention of the Government to create more districts, as conditions became more favourable. "I wish to assure you that my Government has not ceased exploring the possibility of creating more districts in the not too far distant future."

President Kufuor entreated members of the newly created assemblies not to regard themselves as a privileged group, but as stewards with the responsibility to serve their people.

He tasked them to exhibit high moral and ethical standards, to justify the new leadership roles entrusted to them.

Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands and Forestry, who is also the MP for Assin South, commended the government for creating the district and said "it is a valuable gift to the people". Mr Kwabena Karikari-Apau, District Chief Executive for Assin North, in a welcoming address, said the government would continue to support the new district both financially and logistically to enhance speedy development.

He said a number of staff had already been ceded to the new assembly, in addition to the provision of two vehicles and office equipment, while a seed capital of 100 million cedis would also be advanced to facilitate the smooth take of the office. The DCE said contracts have also been awarded for the renovation of an office block for the staff of the central administration and residence for the new DCE.

Odeefuo Tsibu-Asare, Omanhene of the Attandanso Traditional Area, explained that Nsuaem/Kyekyewere, was selected as the district capital, because of its historical background, as the venue for the meeting of the then Assin Confederation.

He appealed to the chiefs in the two paramountcies, to forget the past and forge ahead with the development of the area. Odeefuo Tsibu-Asare also commended the government for creating the new district and asked the Assembly Members to ensure that the area benefited from the national cake.

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