The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has observed that the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is “taking undue advantage of its control over the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to rob the assemblies of the funds needed to boost development at the local level”.
In a statement signed by the National Chairman of the party, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, it reiterated its position on the need for the NPP government to work with a sense of urgency in fulfilling its 2016 campaign promise of overseeing the election of MMDCEs in 2018.
The party recalled that one month down the line that the PPP addressed a press conference on the subject matter, “we find that the Akufo-Addo government is continuing the undermining of the local governance system, particularly the authority and fiscal capabilities of the various assemblies.”
“It is the considered opinion of the PPP that the distribution formula recently approved by Parliament and the subsequent directives from the President’s appointed administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund, is a clear breach of the spirit and letter of the fiscal decentralisation policy and an abuse of executive powers,” the PPP stated.
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According to the PPP, it was obvious that the Akufo-Addo administration talked decentralisation when it was politically expedient but practised centralisation when no one was watching, just like what the NDC did while in power.
Representatives of people
The PPP demanded that Members of Parliament, who are the representatives of the people, 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, the PPP called on Parliament not to sit unconcerned while funds meant for local development were diverted for use by central government to the detriment of local priorities.
PPP cannot wait
“We wish to state unequivocally that the PPP cannot wait any longer for the same executive that is taking undue advantage of the status quo, to implement the election of MMDCEs policy in its own sweet time”, the statement added.
“Accordingly, the PPP once again demands from the NPP administration, the clear road map for the election of MMDCEs, which the PPP believes 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.