Regional News of Saturday, 14 June 2014

Source: GNA

Councils dormant due to lack of funds

Town and Area Councils established in the Asante-Akim South District to play a pivotal role in the local governance system have become non-operational due to the lack of funds and apathy.

The Councilors have not been meeting and also not carrying out any administrative activity from the offices made available to them.

Out of the 11 town and area councils – Juaso, Obogu, Banso, Ofoase, Banka, Dwendwenase, Asankare, Bompata, Morso, Nnadieso and Kumeso, only the Juaso town council is active.

Some assembly members, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) but asked not to be identified, expressed deep discomfort with the situation.

They said it had become increasingly difficult to organize things because “the councilors simply are not eager or interested in attending meetings where they are not paid any allowances”.

They insisted that since the sub-structures were meant to provide the platform for people at the grassroots to participate in the political decision-making process, their dormancy was pushing the people to the sidelines of national development.

They shared the common position that the assembly would have to find innovative ways to bring to life the councils and suggested the setting up of a fund to support their meetings.

The GNA was in the district under STAR-Ghana’s sponsored auditing and tracking of development projects to put the spotlight on how government’s resources were helping to change the lives of the population.

The goal is to help promote good governance through transparency and accountability. Mr De-graft Fokuo, the District Chief Executive (DCE), conceded that the absence of funding was indeed a huge barrier to the smooth operation of the councils.

All of them are supposed to be served by three core staff – an administrator, secretary and treasurer, but they have not been able to hire people to fill those positions because of the difficulty of paying their salaries.

He said for now they were considering getting a national service personnel posted to the various councils to make them functional.