Story: Benjamin Makafui Attipoe, Ho
Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa has stated that the joint German Technical Co-operation (GIZ) and the Governance for Inclusive Development (GovID) programme has played a significant role in the many success stories the region has chalked in recent years. Dr. Letsa made the disclosure at a steering committee meeting of the programme implementation in the regional capital of Ho.
Since October, 2019, the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council (VRCC) and by extension the Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the region began a partnership programme with the GIZ in order to improve accountability and governance to the people of the region. The partnership initiative encompasses three basic areas namely revenue mobilization, capacity building as well as the provision of technical backstopping for staff of the VRCC and the MDAs in the region.
Six (6) out of the eighteen (18) MDAs in the region are currently implementing the GIZ-GovID programme and activities even though the impact is equally being felt by the non-partner assemblies as well. These MDAs are Ho, Hohoe, Ketu South and Keta Municipalities as well as the Anloga and South Tongu District Assemblies.
The implementation of the GIZ-GovID programme and activities in the region over the past four (4) years, has improved the performance of the Assemblies and their staff in the area of revenue mobilization, data capture, inclusive accountability, effective evaluation of properties as well as the improvement in performance contracts amongst others.
Speaking at a steering committee meeting of stakeholders of the programme at Ho, the Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa said the GIZ-GovID programme in the region has been helpful. He mentioned the 100 percent qualification in the 2020 DPAT Assessment, Anloga District being the best performing MDA in Audit Assessment in Ghana not forgetting the continual dominance of the VRCC in performance contracts, the continuous performance of partner MDAs in all assessments as well as the miraculous performance of the Keta Municipal Assembly which was previously in crisis, as some of the achievements of the programme.
Dr. Letsa disclosed that at the VRCC level, the GovID programme has supported varying areas to facilitate service delivery and strengthen the VRCC to perform its mandated functions of providing technical backstopping, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation as well as harmonization of the programme implementation of MDAs in the region especially the partner districts or MDAs.
The Regional Minister noted that during the past four (4) years of collaboration with the GIZ-GovID programme, serious relevant outcomes have been achieved. According to him, the Fully Digital Database and Management System (FDDMS) has been a major success as it has allowed partner districts to move effectively to collect property rates and business permits, resulting in some districts subsequently seeing a revenue increase.
Senior Regional Co-ordinator for the programme implementation in the region, Mr. Charles Abbey lauded the Volta Region for its feet in the GIZ-GovID programme and activities in the country. According to him, with the achievement of the programme in the past four (4) years since it started in October, 2019, the Volta Region has been one of the refreshing highlights for the co-operation and implementation of the programme.
Mr. Abbey disclosed that a lot of technical backstopping has been done on planning, budgeting, vulnerability, gender-mainstreaming and profiling, adding that the region had significantly benefited from capacity building of staff not only at the regional level but also at the district level.
The Senior Regional Co-ordinator stated that GIZ has digitalization at its heart which also aligns with government’s vision, adding that the MDAs are using the District Development Data Platform (DDDP) tool and other tools to improve their lot.
He announced that fourteen (14) out of the eighteen (18) MDAs in the region are fully utilizing the DDDP which is a tool for data reporting and decision making. ‘For us, it is not surprising that when the local government service does performance ratings of regions, Volta Region is always first or in the top three’, Mr. Abbey intimated. He was hopeful that the benefits and gains of the current phase of the programme would be sustained even beyond the life cycle of this project.
The Volta Regional Director of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), Mr. Francis Sogbey urged all the Assemblies in the region especially the six (6) partner MDAs as well as the remaining twelve (12) non-partner MDAs to learn from one another in order to share experiences and good practices that would help them continue to deliver proper and satisfactory services to the people as they have been mandated by law to execute.
Mr. Sogbey also called on the Assemblies to deliver improved services to the people who are indeed paying the revenues. In his view, the move would encourage the rate payers to continue to pay such revenues knowing very well that their taxes are being used judiciously to improve their living conditions.
Chief Director of the VRCC, Mr. Augustus Kwaku Awity called on the Assemblies in the region to embrace all aspects of the GIZ-GovID support programme, explaining that this would go a long way to positively impact on their revenue generation efforts amongst others. He assured all the MDAs in the region of the support of the VRCC in ensuring that they continue to deliver quality services to the people.
Mr. Awity also pledged to liaise with all MDAs in the region in order to fully operationalize their sub-structures for the benefit of their people.
The Hohoe Municipal Assembly was commended among others at the meeting for using the GIZ-GovID programme to improve the lot of the people. Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Hon. Noble Daniel Awume said the secret has been commitment and the takeaways from such training programmes to affect lives. According to him, he would continue to pay adequate attention to the local sub-structures of the Assembly in addition to encouraging the locals to fully participate in the Assembly concept. ‘It is one area which if attention is placed on, we will be able to chalk more developmental successes’, Hon. Awume emphasized.
Three presentations were made at this fourth steering committee meeting. The first was on the implementation of the GovID programme in the region since 2019 by the Regional Director of the CAGD, Mr. Francis Sogbey. Mr. Patrick Senagah of the Budget Division of the VRCC later took his turn to effect the second presentation on the assessment of the status of the sub-structures of the MDAs in the region. A Client Service Officer of the Ho Municipal Assembly (HMA), Mr. Elorm Edem Abotsi also made a presentation on advocacy on client services at the partner MDAs, all under the moderatorship of the Regional Economic Planning Officer, Mr Isaac Tettey.
Members of the Steering Committee comprised the GIZ Regional Officers, their Directors from Accra, Chief Director of the VRCC, Regional Director of the CAGD, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs), Co-ordinating Directors, Planning Officers as well as Budget Officers of the partner MDAs amongst others.
According to the GIZ Regional Advisor, Mr. Joseph Banyen, a number of closing activities are expected to be implemented by the MDAs in the next couple of weeks before the current phase of the programme ends in September, 2023.
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