Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have undergone capacity building training to improve on their internal revenue generation abilities.
The training was to build the MMDAs resilience, especially ahead of unforeseen circumstances like pandemics, through sharing of expertise derived from the implementation of the Integrated Assembly Financial Frameworks (IAFFs), an assessment that determined the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on MMDAs.
It was organised by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme.
The NDPC and partners, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, probed its impact on MMDAs and identified low internal revenue generation in all the assemblies as a result of reduced business and social activities.
Mr. Jonathan Azasoo, the Senior Technical Advisor to the Director-General of the NDPC, speaking during the training in Tamale, said the impact of COVID-19 on development plans led the NDPC and partners to conduct an IAFF assessment, which showed drastic reduction in revenue generation during the pandemic.
He said the NDPC’s annual progress report realised that only 71 out of the 261 MMDAs were able to maintain or improve on their Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) in 2021, while most of them were not resilient, and were, thereby, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The workshop, thus, seeks to equip MMDAs based on findings of the IAFF to improve on revenue generation annually and prepare them ahead of unforeseen circumstances.
Mr Azasoo said building the capacity of MMDAs to generate funds sustainably made room for upgrading in service provision for citizens to improve on living standards.
Madam Angela Lusigi, the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, said there was a wide gap between available resources and spending needs at the local governance level, particularly in the Northern Region.
Data from the composite budget from MMDAs in the region showed that they achieved only 46 per cent of the budgeted revenue, she said, and that high demand for services due to frequent national disasters caused by climate change, was likely to increase revenue budgetary gaps.
“This is why enhancing internally generated funds is a priority. It helps to reduce dependence on unpredictable central government transfers,” she said.
Madam Lusigi said improved revenues in the region could increase investment in critical development projects such as the provision of sufficient waste management facilities, clean drinking water, as well as strengthen school and health infrastructure.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, the Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, said MMDAs had the core mandate of championing local development needs of their people, adding that there could be no development without funding.
He said the Central Government could not meet the growing needs of citizens due to increasing demands, adding that it was imperative for MMDAs to resort to IGFs to augment funds from the Central Government.
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