The Deputy Minister for Local Government, O.B Amoah, has charged Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern part of the country not to pay an amount of GH¢5,000 each as a contribution towards President Nana Akufo-Addo’s visit to those areas.
The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives’ (MMDCEs) caucus of the Northern Region, say they took the decision by themselves in order to place a ceiling on the amount to contribute, to avoid instances where MMDAs are forced to overspend for such trips.
[contextly_sidebar id=”vDYAuOAJEIbsXtZRUwGFSPCROtXAXu78″]But according to O.B Amoah, the Ministry has not authorized any such payment as being imposed by the Northern Regional Coordinating Council on the 26 MMDAs in the region.
Citi News gathered that, the Northern Regional Coordinating Council had tasked each of the 26 MMDAs in the 3 regions of the North to contribute GH¢ 5,000 each to make arrangements towards President Akufo Addo’s visit which begins today [Monday].
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhassan Issahaku in a leaked memo urged the MMDAs to treat the matter with “urgency” ahead of the President’s visit.
According to the leaked letter, the amount must be paid by close of day on Monday to ensure a successful organization of the President’s tour of the Northern Region.
But the Akuapem South legislator, O. B. Amoah, in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show said the Ministry has not sanctioned such levy.
“As far as we are concerned, this is not sanctioned and nobody is authorized to pay anything towards the president’s visit. The Presidential office will have their own arrangement when it comes to such trips. And I expect that the RCC should be able to know that this is not the situation where you should ask any district to make any contribution towards the president’s visit,” he said.
“It is unknown and not sanctioned… I don’t think it is the right thing to do. If for any situation the president visits a district and the district has to cater for some aspect of the visit, that should be well documented and authorized,” he added.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, is expected to tour the three regions of the north within seven days from Monday, October 2, 2017, to Sunday, October 8, 2017.
This follows similar tours of the Ashanti and Western Regions earlier in 2017.
What has been the practice?
Assemblies bearing part of the cost for presidential visits is not new.
Although the presidency has its own budgetary allocation, assemblies in all successive governments are often forced to bear part of such cost for the president’s trips, despite the huge financial challenges most of them are faced with, which hampers development.
Sadly, most of these assemblies have not received their full budgetary allocations from the Central Government, and they also generate very little on their own.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana