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Business News of Thursday, 23 March 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Donor partners won’t influence us – Hajia Alima

The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has insisted that although the Ministry will be receiving foreign aid form its projects and programmes, government decisions won’t be determined by the donor partners.

According to her, government will have a strong say because the aid will mainly be in the form of loans.

The Local Government Minister made the remark on the Citi Breakfast Show, on the backdrop of reports that about 85% of the ministry’s GHc321 million budget allocation will be funded by donor sources.

There have been concerns that the donor partners will dictate to government but Hajia Alima rejected such claims.

She explained that because the money will be loans government will thus have a major input in such negotiations.

“…They are loans that Ghana government is going to pay back. So far as they are loans, we have a say. We can say that we want this to be here and we want this to be in this city. Of course the money is coming from them and as such they will have a say but we will also have a strong say because it’s a loan,” she explained.

She further noted that government will use a huge chunk of the money to boost the capacity of the district in order to roll out government’s audacious social intervention programmes including the much hyped one district one factory.

“A lot of it is loan; we go to them [donor partners] and tell them we need this kind of loan facility. For instance, the World Bank loan is for the treatment of liquid waste…but also some of it is also going into the drains infrastructure… The most important plan is that we want to make up with district infrastructure to be able to cope with all the programmes that we are coming up with.”

“The programmes of government with regards to the one district one factory, the agricultural programme, we need our district infrastructure to respond to the programmes that are coming up. We have a number of stakeholders discussions we need to do towards possible…either this year or next year,” the Local Government Minister added.

Parliament approves local gov’t budget

Parliament last week approved the GHc321 million budget allocation for the Local Government Ministry.

Meanwhile the government is expected to provide a counterpart funding, which has over the years been in arrears to the tune of US$40 million, under the District Development Fund (DDF).

Worse still, the DDF is expected to end this year, and the parliamentary committee on Local Government and Rural Development is worried funding challenges may arise after 2017.

The DDF is supported by a number of foreign agencies, including the Agence Francaise De Developpement (AFD), the Canadian Development Agency, the Danish Development Agency, the German Development Bank, as well as counterpart funding from the Government of Ghana