The opposition National Democratic Congress is rallying Ghanaians to fully participate in the District Assembly elections scheduled to take place tomorrow, 19th December, 2023.
The call comes amidst fears about a possible record low turnout following the very poor publicity towards this year’s exercise.
A statement signed by NDC National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketia acknowledged apathy towards the elections over the past few years but says the current situation, has been compounded by certain government decisions which have further weakened the capacity of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to deliver, thereby diminishing public interest in governance at the local level.
“As we speak, almost all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have been put into a state of financial distress by the failed Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government. The current financial state of majority of MMDAs today is a reflection of the state of mismanagement that our economy and country as a whole has witnessed under the current government.’ he noted
The NDC National Chairman further explained that as a result of the obnoxious and anti-development Capping and Realignment policy of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) is being diverted for other purposes. This situation has left many of these MMDAs highly encumbered and incapable of undertaking any meaningful development at the local level.”
“In most cases, between 20% to 50% of the IGF of various Assemblies is capped, while in some instances, everything including market tolls, toilet fees and mortuary fees are taken by central government, leaving the Assemblies with nothing.” he emphasized.
He expressed regret at the development which has left many MMDA’s virtually bankrupt because Common Fund payments are in arrears for several quarters and cannot undertake developmental projects at the local level.
He however assured, that come 2025 the next NDC government will make frantic efforts to reverse the trend.
This among other bold steps shall include
1. Empower Assemblies to generate and retain more internally-generated funds to finance their operations and other activities.
2. Complete the operationalisation of sub-district structures (Town and Area Councils and Unit Committees) with the allocation of a percentage of the Assemblies revenue to fund micro projects within their jurisdiction.
3. Reduce drastically the number of Ministers and redirect the savings made to pay allowances to Assembly members and
4. Reverse the current trend of recentralisation of award of District-level contracts to ensure real devolution of power to the districts.
Find below the full statement