Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has slammed the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, accusing the it of diverting funds from the Common Fund for use at the central level rather than focusing it on the development of the various assemblies at the local level.
The PPP, which has been on government’s heels to fasten the process for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), believes government was taking undue advantage of its control over the MMDCEs to ‘rob the Assemblies of the funds needed to boost development at the local level.’
In a statement issued yesterday and signed by National Chairman of the party, Nii- Allotey Brew-Hammond, PPP described as an abuse of power and a clear breach of spirit and letter of the fiscal decentralisation policy, the distribution formula recently approved by Parliament and the subsequent directives from the President’s appointed Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund.
According to the statement, the Akufo-Addo administration was “talking” decentralisation when it is politically expedient but “practicing” centralisation when no one is watching, just like what the NDC in power did.”
In this regard, the PPP demanded that Parliament checks such breaches to ensure that misappropriations were avoided subsequently and that the disbursement of common funds to MMDAs would be based on an open and transparent formula approved by Parliament.
“We demand that MPs who are the representatives of the people must be diligent in checking such breaches to ensure that disbursement of common funds to the MMDAs would be based on an open and transparent formula approved by Parliament. At the same time, Parliament must not sit unconcerned while funds meant for local development are diverted for use by central government to the detriment of local priorities,” it noted.
Continuing, the PPP stated unequivocally that it cannot wait any longer for the same executive that was taking undue advantage of the status quo to implement the election of MMDCEs policy in its own time.
“We take this opportunity to again, demand from the NPP administration, the clear road map for the election of MMDCEs, which we believe is the only genuine way to give power back to the people.
…we further wish to state that the PPP is not against the job creation agenda of the NPP government. However, we oppose government’s decision to take away funds allocated through the Common Fund for use by the Assemblies. The recent action taken by the Akufo-Addo administration to commandeer funds meant for the Assemblies will kill local initiative and will not allow the Assemblies to deal with priority local infrastructure needs,” it advised.
PPP, the statement noted, shall continue to promote the election of MMDCEs as the most important governance reform needed for Ghana’s democratic and economic development, and demand that it is made a topmost priority in Ghana’s governance agenda.