The SNV-Ghana National Programme Coordinator, Mrs. Sarah Naa Dede Agbey has called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to make Local Governance more attractive to the citizenry by adopting a participatory democratic practices that would ensure that vital information is at all times made available to the people.
Mrs. Agbey explained that timely information to the citizenry would not only promote transparency, probity and accountability but also build high levels of confidence among the people about the activities of the assembly for them to appreciate the efforts being made by the assemblies to improve on their living conditions.
Speaking at the launch of Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) programme for the Ho Municipal Assembly in Ho recently, Mrs. Agbey noted that the programme would go a long way to enhance the governance process in the Municipality since effective accountability on social public expenditure and general issues concerning financial management were crucial in effective Local Government administration.
The National Programme Coordinator of SNV-Ghana stressed that social accountability was all about making activities at the MMDAs more clearer and known to the governed especially issues about how monies are used at the Assembly level, which she said, could be effectively achieved through regular public education.
Mrs. Agbey pointed out that it was also the responsibility of the citizenry to equally show interest in the work of the assemblies in their respective areas by paying regular visit to find out about what type of development projects was being implemented in the community and contribute to the progress of the Assembly by offering reasonable suggestions that would help in the development process.
She announced that 35 MMDAs are currently participating in the SPEFA programme and was happy about the high number of women participating in the programme noting that so far 1,800 women had benefitted from the programme and hoped that it would help in deepening democratic practices in the Ho Municipality.
The SNV –Ghana National Programme Coordinator observed that knowledge, wisdom and money were crucial in ensuring success at the assembly level stressing that conscious effort ought to be made to strengthen citizen participation in local governance.
Mrs. Agbey, continued that any efforts to development would be meaningless if the citizens were deprived of vital information about activities at the Assembly and urged the MMDAs to adhere to sound local government practices that would give meaning to democracy.
The Executive Director of Community Development Concern (CDC), Madam Joycelyn Akofa Oclich, noted that with the introduction of SPEFA in the Ho Municipality, it would help promote participatory planning in budgetary , which would go a long way to enhance transparency as well as promote good governance at the Assembly level that would be appreciated by all.
Madam Oclich, assured the public that her organization would support the SPEFA programme by ensuring that regular town hall meetings are held to pave way for people to clearly understand some of the development projects and the financial status of the Assembly to enable them to meaningfully contribute to development.
The Ho Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr. Edward Gidiglo, said with the launch of the SPEFA programme in the Municipality, it would help to promote social and financial accountability at the Assembly and thanked SNV-Ghana and Community Development Concern for their efforts that made it possible for the programme to be introduced in the area.
He stressed that the Assembly would use the platform SPEFA would create to educate the people on the activities of the Assembly. Mr. Gidiglo continued that the programme would expose the assembly to more skills that would enhance accountability noting that development ought to be seen as a collective responsibility of all and that people should not think that development activities should be the responsibility of government alone.
Source: The Chronicle
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