Minister of Local Government & Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo says for the first time in the history of Ghana, the government has cleared all arrears of the District Assemblies Common Fund owed the 170 districts in the country.

Members of the government communication machinery for a moment can stop defending the Alfred Woyome saga and talk about the remarkable feat of the Government in clearing all the GH¢548.34m District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) arrears owed the 170 District Assemblies in the country, from 2009 to 2011.Documents sighted by The Chronicle indicate that the District Assemblies Common Fund was in astounding arrears of GH¢248.7m, representing the third quarter of 2009 and third and fourth quarters of 2010.

This huge amount, The Chronicle learnt, has been disbursed to the entire beneficiary District Assemblies in addition to the GH¢300.27m for the first, second and third quarters of 2011.

That notwithstanding, an additional amount of GH¢121.7m cash has been directly paid to the 170 District Assemblies for social intervention programs such as school feeding and waste management among others.

This amount brings to a total GH¢670m paid to the entire District Assemblies as at the end of December, 2011 for various developmental and social intervention programs.

The Minister of Local Government & Rural Development, Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle via his mobile handset confirmed the story and noted that innovative measures are in the pipeline to prevent such backlog of arrears due the District Assemblies in the future.

“We have cleared all the Common Fund arrears due to the District Assemblies and this is remarkable in the history of this country. We are coming out with new innovation which has been approved by Parliament and Cabinet to provide a stop gap financing for the District Assemblies Common Fund in times of difficulties, and we will be using syndicated banks to that effect,” noted Mr. Ampofo.

He told The Chronicle that his outfit was anticipating paying the 170 District Assemblies their entire share of the District Assemblies Common Fund, even before the year comes to an end, to enable them fast track their various developmental projects.

The Act establishment of the District Assemblies Common Fund, Act 455 (2) states that “Parliament shall annually allocate not less than 7.5% of the total revenues of Ghana, excluding oil revenue to the District Assemblies for development.”

Aside the payment of the DACF arrears, The Chronicle has again learnt that all the arrears for 2010 and 2011 due People with Disabilities (PWDs) have also been paid to 159 District Assemblies.

In 2010, an amount of GH¢7.9m cash was directly disbursed while in 2011, an amount of GH¢8.1m cash was also directly disbursed to the 159 District Assemblies.

The Chronicle checks indicate that the remaining eleven District Assemblies that have not been paid their share of the PWDs would have themselves to blam, for failing to open a separate account per the dictates of the law in order to access the fund.

The eleven District Assemblies include; Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region, Hohoe, Krachi West and Biakoye in the Volta Region, Adansi North and Ahafo Ano North in the Ashanti Region, Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region and West Gonja, East Gonja, Bandai and Bole in the Northern Region.

Inside sources at the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development told The Chronicle that the funds are available and read for disbursement to the aforementioned Assemblies by the Office of the District Assemblies Common Fund Administrator.

The PWDs have a two percent share of whatever is released to the Assemblies under the laws of the District Assemblies Common Fund.

The Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund, Kojo Fynn when contacted confirmed disbursing all the arrears owed the entire District Assemblies and that of the PWDs but declined to further comment on that.

“All the arrears of the District Assemblies under the Common Fund Act have been cleared, including that of People with Disabilities,” he noted.

 

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