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Decentralization- Ashietey Armah Advocates for Assemblies to Fund Projects

A former Minister of Employment and Labor Relations, Hon Nii Armah Ashietey has lamented the continues reliance on the centralized system of funding for the several development projects across the country and called for the urgent need to decentralize the practice to take the burden off government.

According to him, the phenomenum of over-dependence by Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies and state agencies on a single source of funding for projects is responsible for the several delays and uncompleted projects doted all over the country due to non-availability of funds in the national kitty.

Hon Ashietey who is the Member of Parliament for the Klottey Korle constituency said the time has come for government to decentralize funding projects by winding several MMDAs and State Agencies off government subvention.
He noted that, in the wake of scarce resource availability, it is important to make practical the essence of decentralization and let institutions take care of their own affairs to enable the central government focus on less privilege ones.

“The decentralization process requires that, assemblies are made to prioritize their own development goals through broader community stakeholder consultation and participation and should be prepared to finance those goals with little assistance from the central government`s coffers” he said.

His call came in the wake of a question to the Minister of Health by the Member of Parliament for Tema Central ,Hon Kofi Brako on the floor of Parliament about when government of Ghana funded projects at the Tema General Hospital would be completed after close to six years of delay due to lack of funds.

Hon Ashietey who was also a former Municipal Chief Executive for the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) said, the assembly should be involved to ensure the completion of the project through its Internal Generated Fund so that it can exercise oversight responsibility over the facility.

He disclosed that, his administration at TMA was responsible for the construction of the male ward of the hospital and believed same could be done today if assemblies, especially those that are endowed are tasked to do so.
This he said would take off the huge financial burdens off government shoulders to channel the limited resources to other sectors of the national economy.

The former Minister emphasized the need for Ghana to learn from the shining example of Uganda where the decentralization system is very functional.

By Christian Kpesese

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