Members of the Wa East District Assembly have approved GH¢20,000 from its share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) for the renovation of their District Chief Executive’s Bungalow.
The members complained that since the confirmation of Mr. Ameen Salifu as the District Chief Executive for the Wa East in April this year, he has been staying in Wa and travelling 192 kilometres to and fro from Wa to Funsi on daily basis to perform official duties because his bungalow had not been renovated.
Some assembly members told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that because Mr Salifu had refused to stay at Funsi, fuel bills had drained the coffers of the assembly.
“Our Internal Revenue Generated Fund account is reading red, the first of its kind since the establishment of the assembly,” they said.
The assembly members said they were compelled to approve the 20,000 Ghana Cedis for the renovation of the bungalow, a facility that was renovated with 5,000 Ghana Cedis in March 2008, to save the assembly from incurring more fuel bills.
They said the Wa East District is priced as the number one deprived district in the region, with many social challenges such as inadequate school infrastructure, residential accommodation, health facilities, potable water and accessible roads.
“We had wished that he was modest in his demands considering the circumstance of the people but we are all surprised”, they lamented
Some of the members said because of internal political wrangling in the house, the assembly had not been able to organise a meeting for the past one year and that had affected implementation of development projects in the district.
They said presently, the assembly was without a presiding member, all due to political differences, and several attempts to elect a presiding member had run into difficulties.
Mr. Salifu on his part said the bungalow was inhabitable and needed to be renovated to make it decent for human habitation.
He said the facility was a property of the people and should be maintained to increase its life-span and not be left to go dilapidated.
The District Chief Executive said it was not fuel bills that had depleted the coffers of the assembly, rather the high sitting allowance paid to members and the hiring of buses to carry them from Wa to Funsi and back to attend assembly meetings.
The assembly used to pay GH¢15 to each of the 25 assembly member house as sitting allowance but only on August 12, the house decided to increased it to GH¢20 in addition to GH¢10 paid them as travelling allowance, Mr. Salifu said.
Mr. Salifu said there was the need to improve the revenue mobilisation of the assembly and appealed to members to help educate the people to pay their taxes regularly, while they also monitor the revenue collectors to account correctly.
He said the assembly had spent a total of GH¢550 for the three meetings it organised to elect a presiding member which produced no results.
The District Chief Executive therefore urged the assembly members to be united and work hard to enable the district catch up with the other districts in the region with development.
“Wa East District is said to be the last district in almost everything and we must work hard to overcome this negative tag,” Mr. Salifu said.