Two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are implementing a project to improve on the Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) of four District Assemblies in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The STAR-Ghana anti-Corruption Small Grant Project seeks to strengthen engagements between the Assemblies and their constituents as a means to deepen citizens participation in local government.
MIHOSO International, and Search for Rural Development (SRD), NGOs which works to promote accountability and good governance are implementing the 12-month project.
It is being funded by the European Union (EU), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKAID) at the cost of GHC 161,000.
It will help increase the IGFs of the Kintampo South, Nkoranza North, Sene West and Pru East District Assemblies by 40 percent.
At a social accountability forum at Busunya, capital of the Nkoranza North District on Friday, Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Project Officer of MIHOSO International, advised people in local communities to develop interest and participate in local government for their own good.
The event was jointly organised by the two NGOs and attended by farmers, traders, artisanal workers, women groups and Assembly members aimed at sensitizing them on the project and it's expected achievements.
The project Officer said that until citizens participate actively in the decision making process, development would not thrive.
Mr Benarkuu said it is imperative for the District Assemblies to also meet and interact with the people at the local level in fee fixing and other planning processes for community development.
He said if citizens understand the District Assembly concept they would pay their taxes and rates for assemblies to generate the required resources needed for development.
Mr Benarkuu said traders and tax payers failed to pay their taxes because they did not understand why they should do so hence the need for the Assemblies to engage citizens effectively in decision making.
He said the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) was not enough to facilitate the development of the Districts hence the need for the Assemblies to devise innovative strategies to enhance their IGFs.
Mr Benarkuu said corruption remain the bane of socio-economic, but added that the menace could only be controlled if it was tackled devoid of partisanship.
The Project Officer said the project would engage the budget unit of the assemblies effectively and design baseline survey to access the outcome of the project.
He urged the budget units of the project implementing districts to support it saying its effective implementation would benefit the assemblies a lot and push development forward.
Mr Benarkuu said social accountability is not a privilege for citizens, but remains a right for tax payers, indicating that the project would support the assemblies to organise regular town hall meetings to interact with the people.
Mr Gado Musah, the Nkoranza North District Coordinating Director, lauded the project saying it help erode the wrong perception citizens had on the District Assemblies.
He said it was the utmost desire of every District Assembly to facilitate the rapid development of communities, but added that until citizens pay their taxes, the Assemblies could not get enough funds to embark of infrastructural development.
Mr Musah advised revenue collectors of the various Assemblies to be proactive and intensify their revenue mobilization efforts.