Mr Dan Botwe, the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, has charged Municipal, Metropolitan or District Chief Executives, (MMDCEs), to work diligently to meet the aspiration of the people.
“The constitution clearly defines your duties as local government representatives, and the people must believe and see that you are working for their benefit,” he said.
Mr Botwe was speaking at the opening of a two-day review meeting on the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme (GSCSP), in Koforidua.
He advised the MDCES “you must be interested in every programme or project in your communities and ensure that it is in the best interest and benefit of the people, whether it is a government-sponsored project or a non-governmental organisation (NGO).”
The World Bank in 2019, approved a $100million International Development Association (IDA) credit for the implementation of the GSCSP in 25 municipalities across the country to enhance urban management and improve basic public services.
Mr Botwe explained that the GSCSP was to create resilient urban cities and communities conforming to the Sustainable Development Goals, strongly aligned with the government’s commitment to the implementation of the National Urban Policy.
He said the GSCSP would deal with waste management, storm drain systems, urban roads, streetlights, pedestrian walkways, integrated urban market facilities and disaster management.
Mr Botwe said as of June 2021, the programme had disbursed a total of $71.9 million, representing 72 per cent of the programme’s funding to implementing agencies for various interventions within 30 months of implementation.
Out of this amount, a total of $65.5 million, representing 91.1 per cent fundswere disbursed to the 25 municipal assemblies for the provision of critical essential urban infrastructure and to improve service delivery.
According to Mr Botwe, funds released to the 25 municipalities were in addition to the statutory District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).
He said the assemblies, therefore, had all the resources to initiate developmental projects to improve the living conditions of people in their areas.
Mr Botwe said “Having been selected from 108 municipalities across the country is a privilege and it behoves you to ensure diligence and value for money, that everything inures to the benefit of the people.”
Citing section 12 of the Local Government Act, he tasked the MCEs to step up their performance and insist on the right thing, irrespective of the source of funding, adding, “be diligent in all your undertakings and not only donor-funded projects.”
Mr Martin Onyach-Olaa, the Senior Urban Specialist at the World Bank, noted that the implementation of the programme was on course and expressed optimism of achieving the desired transformation at the local level.
He said the World Bank was ready to provide additional $150million to expand the project.
The review meeting was attended by Municipal Chief Executives, Planning Officers, Coordinating Directors and Regional Coordinators of the beneficiary municipalities. – GNA