Participants call for transparency in executing projects at Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality

Participants in an Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme (ARAP) organised by the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) have advocated an increased transparency for enhanced development in the Prestea -Huni Valley Municipality of the Western Region.
They complained that information flow had not been forthcoming, thereby undermining citizens’ participation in decision making, and feedback on development programmes and projects, especially those from GETFund.
“It seems duty bearers and the government do not factor citizens’ involvement in projects that directly affect our development. When you ask questions, no official, not even the chiefs, seem to be giving answers every time it (project) came from Accra. But, we are the citizenry,” the participants said here last Friday.
They added: “Demanding a budget is a challenge, even sometimes you are targeted.”
The forum on ARAP, which seeks to promote good governance, was held with support from the European Union on the theme ‘Citizens for transparency for accountability’.
It attracted participants, including chiefs, Unit Committee and Assembly members, the youth, women’s and advocacy groups.
The Municipal Director of NCCE in Prestea- Huni Valley, Emefa Attipoe, explained that the objective of ARAP was to promote good governance by reducing corruption and improving accountability and compliance with the rule of law.
She stressed: “Social auditing, done through discourse among citizens and duty bearers, is to promote community ownership of development projects and policies, increased awareness of the operations of the local government and empower the citizenry to demand accountability from duty bearers.”
The Municipal Budget Officer, Mr Vincent Mawuli Wodi, noted that social accountability placed responsibility on all stakeholders to come together and ensure that the government and assemblies accounted for revenues and tolls collected in an area.
He told the community leaders to be interested in the budget of the municipal assembly and also find out how it was utilised, explaining that assembly members, for example, could demand the trial balance by writing to the Coordinating Director.
“When you play your role as proactive citizens by asking questions from the assembly, you will be enhancing the creation of wealth for your welfare. You will be expanding your needs and aspirations. Don’t say I don’t care. If you don’t ask them questions, they will not account for their stewardship,” Mr Wodi added.
The Municipal Director of National Youth Authority (NYA), Mrs Marian Acquaah Mensah, mentioned that the youth could help in community development through voluntary work and patriotism, adding that “you are critical stakeholders in the society.”
She encouraged them to desist from drug use and patronising pornographic materials on social media.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, PRESTEA

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