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Irene Naa Torshie Addo, the President’s nominee for the position of Common Fund Administrator, is proposing new measures including borrowing from banks to end the perennial challenge of the delay in the payment of Assemblies’ share of the Common Fund.
Per the constitution, not less than 5 percent of national revenue is to be allocated to the Common Fund for disbursement to various assemblies, but over the years, payments delay, thus affecting development at the local level.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, Irene Naa Toshie Addo, said a combination of extensive lobbying and borrowing from banks to fill the gap can deal with the problem.
Naa Torshie said, she will lobby “the Finance Minister and keep on pushing…and I’m going to involve Parliament—Finance, committee, local government committee, leadership.” “I will be knocking on your doors; you have to help, if given the nod, to make sure the money comes in and the right amount comes in.
That is very important… If I’m given the nod, once we have the power to be able to invest some of the money to be able to accrue some interest, I’m looking at, with the permission of my minister, bringing certain proposals like this to Parliament to find out whether or not in certain circumstances, just to keep the timelines so that there is no disappointments so that they can plan and manage their areas…I’m thinking about innovative things like that, maybe being allowed at certain times to borrow money for them and pay when the fund comes in,” she added.
Naa Torshie Addo also stated that, the government’s one million dollar per constituency programme, could affect the formula for the distribution of the Common Fund. “…Directly, it will not affect the formula but as time goes on, it could affect the formula.
When you look at basic needs, the districts that have more schools and hospitals are given less, while those who have less are given more. So with the coming in of this money, if people build more schools, hospitals, among others, they get less of the DACF. But that is not to say that they should build more schools. It could affect it in the long-term.”