The Social Enterprise Development Foundation (SEND Ghana), a non-governmental organisation, has appealed to the government to involve Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in Central government projects at the local level.
The move, it said, would equip the MMDAs with adequate information on the projects to enable the assemblies to monitor the projects to ensure value for money.
According to the NGO, it had observed that MMDAs had little information on most infrastructural projects spearheaded by the central government in their respective areas because they were not involved in the entire processes.
The Northern Regional Manager of SEND Ghana, Mohammed Mumuni, who made the call, attributed the shoddy work executed by some contractors to the lack of involvement of the assemblies.
Speaking at a national policy dialogue held in Tamale on citizen-led monitoring of infrastructure delivery at the local level, he explained that since the contractors were not accountable to authorities at the local level, it made it difficult for the assemblies to monitor them.
The dialogue, organised by SEND GHANA, brought together representatives from civil society organisations, local and national level authorities, development agencies, among other groups, to discuss how citizen-led monitoring of infrastructure development could help ensure accountability and transparency.
The citizen-led monitoring of infrastructure delivery is an initiative that forms part of the Monitoring for Financial Savings (M4FS) project that is being implemented by SEND GHANA in four districts in the Northern Region: Tamale Metropolis, Savelugu and Yendi Municipalities and Tolon, as well as the West Gonja Municipality in the Savannah Region, with funding support from Integrity Action, a non-profit organisation based in London, England.
Lack of information
“We have found out that there are projects that are awarded from the national level that MMDAs do not have control over, so contractors executing these projects do not account to the local authorities and that means if citizens raise issues on such projects, the assemblies are not able to respond,” he noted.
While urging the government to put in place measures to stop such practices, Mr Mumuni said applying the mix of innovation, dialogue and collaboration among relevant stakeholders would help solve the challenge to help accelerate development in communities.
For his part, the Technical Advisor, Policy and Governance at the Ghana Development Communities Association (GDCA), Philip A. Gmabi, called on local government level authorities to adopt strategies that would enhance their ability to participate in the decision-making process in undertaking development projects in their areas.
A Senior Programmes Officer at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Esther Tetteh, pledged her outfit's commitment to ensure the involvement of MMDAs in all aspects of project implementation in their areas.