The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly has for the past nine months spent about GH¢333,416.16 from its Internally Generated Fund (IGF) and the Assembly’s Common Fund (DACF) to cater for Military personnel within the Municipality.
Mr Joseph Atura Amiyuure, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), who disclosed this at a media encounter in Bolgatanga, said the major challenge in the Municipality was the state of security, which emanated from a chieftaincy dispute and the Military that deployed to the Township to maintain peace.
He said whereas some Assemblies spent their IGF and DACF on development projects and the provision of basic social amenities to benefit the citizenry, the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly could not do same because, “We are spending so much on the Military Personnel we are keeping in Bolgatanga.”
Giving the breakdown of the total amount spent on the personnel from January to September this year, Mr Amiyuure said an amount of GH¢15,800.00 from the Assembly’s IGF was spent on repairs and maintenance of military vehicles, while GH¢ 56,115.00 went into fuel and maintenance.
He said GH¢219,311.16 from the DACF was used to feed the military personnel, and an amount of GH¢42,190.00 also from the DACF was spent on fuel and lubricants for their vehicles within the same period.
Touching on the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ) programme in the Municipality, the MCE said the impact of the programme was massive because it improved crop yield over the years.
He said there was improvement in the maize yield as production shot up from 3,400 metric tonnes to 8,744 metric tonnes owing to the subsided fertilizer under the PFJ programme.
Mr Amiyuure said 22 groups in the Municipality benefitted from the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) credit facility, and indicated that out of the 22 groups, 48 were males and 410 were females, while a number of groups were processed on a reduced interest rate from 12 per cent to 6 per cent.
He said a total of 934 people were engaged under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) programme in the Municipality, adding that eight out of 120 people who were engaged under the ‘Civic Ghana’ module had gained permanent employment in other sectors.
The MCE said “Currently we have 752, most of these people got recruited into the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Education Service,” and reiterated that the NABCO was a three-year non-permanent programme.
On education, Mr Amiyuure said government increased the number of schools which benefitted from the School Feeding Programme from 33 schools with 13,105 pupils to 57 schools with 22,833 pupils fed in basic schools in the Municipality.
He said Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) performance in the Municipality dropped from 34.6 per cent to 31.5 per cent in the past two years, and was hopeful that the performance would improve this year.
Mr Amiyuure said a total of 4,752 students were enrolled on the Free Senior High School programme in the Municipality, 2971 being girls, and 1781 boys, “We have procured 1,632 dual and mono desks, 40 chairs and 14 desks for teachers,” he added.
On health, he said the Assembly provided a mechanised borehole, extended electricity and presented medical and non-medical items to the Pumpungu Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compound near Sherigu.
“If we had all the resources, we will make sure that we equip all the health facilities particularly the CHPS centres in our various communities, so that only teething problems will be referred to our Regional hospital.”