Media practitioner urges increase in Common Fund for rapid development

Mr Edwin Arthur, Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, has urged the government to increase the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) from the current 7.5 % to 10 % in order to increase the rate of development in the rural areas.

According to him, the DACF has become the fulcrum around which the country’s major development revolves.

He said “with the anticipation of additional assemblies, the increase of the percentage allocation from 7.5 % to 10 % will enable them have some appreciable level of funds to undertake development.”

He was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop for the Press Corps on the DACF at Ho in the Volta Region.

The meeting, organized by the Office of the Administrator of the DACF is under the theme “the district assemblies’ common fund, good governance and accountability.”

Mr Arthur said measures should be established to intensify monitoring and evaluation of the funds to ensure the judicious use of monies, which should be done by strengthening state institutions such as the Auditor-General’s Department.

Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Minister of Local Government, said the District Assemblies Common Fund has to date contributed to the political stability of the country and ensured  balanced development in all parts of the country.

He said various challenges such issues of accountability and conflicts between the district chief executives and members of parliament over the  release of the MPs’ portion of the fund could easily be dealt with if all parties work in a transparent manner.

The Minister urged the press to acquaint themselves with issues on project costing and how projects execution, differ from area to area as a result of the peculiarities of each area.

Mr Maxwell  Kofi Jumah, Ranking Member  for Parliament’s Local Government  Committee, said the idea of the DACF  is that it should serve as a foundation for the district assemblies to seek for other sources of funding for local development and not as the sole funding mechanism for rolling out development.

He said the fund should synchronize the country’s development agenda and support good governance.

By Eunice Menka

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