As part of government’s ambition of decentralising and enhancing infrastructural development at the local level, a total of GH¢4.5 billion was transferred to the 260 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) over the last three and half years.
These funds supported the provision of 4,686 infrastructural projects with 2,682 of those projects completed, including education, healthcare, water, and sanitation facilities at the local level.
The funds came from the District Assemblies Common Fund(DACF) GH¢2.9 billion, Internally-Generated Funds(IGF) GH¢ 1.4 billion, District Development Facility-over 300 million and Urban Development Grant GH¢200 million to each Assembly.
Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, announced this in Accra on Wednesday when she took her turn of the Meet-the-Press series, to render accounts of her stewardship.
The Minister said as part of the government’s digitization agenda to improve revenue mobilization, the Ministry rolled out District Revenue Collection Software with e-payment options in 83 Assemblies. The e-payment portal allowed the beneficiary assemblies to administer revenue items such as fees, permits, licenses, investments, and rates efficiently.
The move, she said, resulted in the increase of the Assemblies’ IGF from three per cent in 2016 to 18 per cent in 2017, and 23.51 per cent between 2018 and 2019 respectively.
The Minister further explained that the Ministry had harmonised deductions of the DACF at the source, which increased net transfers to the MMDAs.
For instance, in 2016, the DACF transferred to the Assemblies was 35.10 per cent and jumped to 46.52 per cent in 2017, 53 per cent in 2018, and 53.40 per cent in 2019, he added.
Hajia Mahama indicated that the digitisation of the Assemblies had propelled many assemblies to record between 100 and 300 per cent increment in their IGFs.
Under the Urban Infrastructure Support Development Project with support from the World Bank, the Sector Minister stated that over $42 million was given to 25 Municipal Assemblies for infrastructural development, which went into the construction of storm drains to prevent the perennial flooding and engineered landfill sites.
Also, the government supported some assemblies with GH¢100 million for modernisation of agriculture, which went into the acquisition of farm inputs.
The Local Government and Rural Development Ministry is charged with the statutory responsibility of promoting good governance, equitable and balanced development across the country.
That mandate is delivered through the formulation of policies on rural and urban development and the design of systems to monitor the implementation of policies and programmes.