Dan Botwe, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, has addressed a letter to President Nana Akufo-Addo in which he sharply criticises Irene Naa Torshie Addo-Lartey, the Administrator of the Districts Assemblies Common Fund.
Mr Botwe’s letter is in response to her failure to assist his Ministry in the equitable distribution of District Common Funds in a manner that is in the best interests of the government.
“It is instructive for His Excellency to note that this Ministry has not had the expected level of cooperation from the Office of the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund.
“In the past two years and three months since I have been in the Ministry, efforts to get the Office of the Administrator of District Assemblies Common Fund to align with the Ministry in the strategic determination of the beneficiary Districts of such allocations have not been successful,” an unhappy Minister Botwe, noted in his letter to the President, dated Monday, July 10, 2023.
He continued: “Even more worrying is the fact that as the Ministry responsible for the MMDAs we are not involved, engaged or consulted in any form by the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund in the development of the formula proposed to Parliament.
“We are of the view that government would be more efficient in the utilization of such resources if we align the decision-making process with all relevant stakeholders.”
Mr Botwe stated that his Ministry is mandated by law to offer a coordinating and supervisory role over the operations of the MMDAs and to steer their development initiatives; hence, the Ministry has the authority to select which Districts deserve such support and particular attention.
“We are of the firm belief that the trigger for distribution should be initiated by the Ministry, on behalf of the government, to ensure it sits well within the broad government strategy,” he added.
Mr Botwe argues further: “Annually, the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund proposes the formula for distribution of the District Assemblies Common Fund to the Parliament of Ghana.”
Once the approval is done, the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund has the function under section 129 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) to “administer and distribute money paid into the Common Fund among the District Assemblies in accordance with the formula approved by Parliament.”
Section 126 (3) of the same Act states; The Minister shall in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance, determine the category of expenditure of the approved development budget of District Assemblies that must in each year be met out of amounts received by the District Assemblies from the District Assemblies Common Fund.
Part of the approved formula/allocation are activities like;
- National Projects
- Special Projects
- Distressed District Support
- Reserve funds
The Ministry holds the view that, when it comes to the above activities in the approved formula, the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund does not have the authority to determine the distribution unilaterally, as it must sit within a broad strategic framework of Government.
“As the supervisory Ministry of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) and the Ministry responsible for coordinating the MMDAs, we are of the view that the mandate to determine which Districts receive such support and special attention, lies with the Ministry. We are of the firm belief that the trigger for distribution should be initiated by the Ministry, on behalf of Government, to ensure it sits well within the broad government strategy.
“Even more worrying is the fact that, as the Ministry responsible for the MMDAs we are not involved, engaged or consulted in any form by the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund in the development of the formula proposed to Parliament.
“We are of the view that, Government would be more efficient in the utilization of such resources if we align the decision making process with all relevant stakeholders.
“It is instructive for His Excellency to note that this Ministry has not had the expected level of cooperation from the Office of the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund. In the past two (2) years and three (3) months, since I have been in the Ministry, efforts to get the Office of the Administrator of District Assemblies Common Fund to align with the Ministry in the strategic determination of the beneficiary Districts of such allocations have not been successful.
“In the meantime, the Ministry has requested from the Office of the District Assemblies Common Fund Administrator, details of the disbursement done so far from the approved allocations to enable the Ministry align and strategize to aid equity and strategic development of the MMDAs.
“However, the Office of the District Assemblies Common Fund Administrator has since refused to respond to my letter. (Copy of letter attached).
“In Conclusion, this Ministry is of the view that the trigger for the utilization of the activities and allocations stated above can and should only be done by the Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, on behalf of Government to ensure consistency with Government’s aspiration for development of the MMDAs.”
I count on your continued support.
DANIEL BOTWE (MP)
Akufo-Addo is a smart politician; he will consent to the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill – Foh Amoaning
Moses Foh-Amoaning, Executive Secretary of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, stated that they are awaiting the President’s signature on the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill.
According to him, the bill’s purpose is not to criminalise anyone, but to give care, therapy, and support to persons dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation issues.
He went on to say, “The focus of the Coalition is not to criminalise or dump people in prisons…those people who get caught in these challenges, we were very clear in our mind that what they needed was care treatment and support, and it’s in the bill.”
On February 29, he mentioned this during an interview with Johnnie Hughes on 3FM’s Sunrise Morning Show.
In response to criticism from people such as Audrey Gadzekpo and the evolution of opinions within Ghanaian society, notably Member of Parliament Sam George, Foh-Amoaning emphasised the value of education and awareness in developing viewpoints.
He explained, “Sam has educated himself by interacting with us. He has realised how ridiculous the entire human rights argument is, and when I listen to Audrey, she is merely spouting normal LGBT template arguments. So, Sam was probably not educated at the time, and he tells me that is what drove him and made him see how important this is.”
Mr. Foh-Amoaning addressed the political aspect of their campaigning, noting constitutional principles and the promotion of Ghanaian values as the cornerstone for their efforts.
He made a point of saying, “If you say we’re political you are right because that’s what we are engaged in, we want to ensure that the people of this country are protected and that’s what the Constitution says.”
Regarding President Nana Akufo-Addo’s likely response to the bill, Foh-Amoaning expressed trust in the President’s commitment to Ghanaian principles and emphasised the political ramifications of whatever decision he makes.
“Well, the President is a very brilliant politician, and what I’ve told everyone who has asked me this question is that, first and foremost, there has never been a President of Ghana who has used the word of God more than this one. So, with what I know about the President, I’m confident he’ll sign this law,” he stated.
He cautioned that if the President does not sign the law, the ruling party would suffer major consequences, including electoral ramifications and a loss of popularity.
“If he refuses to sign it would be very easy the NDC will just package the NPP as Trumu Trumu party”.
Mr Foh-Amoaning emphasised the Coalition’s commitment to promoting Ghanaian family values and preserving the nation’s interests.
John Mahama retains Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as running mate
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, has chosen Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as his running partner for the 2024 presidential election.
According to JoyNews sources, potential running mates include former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah, former Kumasi Mayor Kojo Bonsu, NDC Member of Parliament for Korle Klottey seat Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings, and Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.
John Mahama has submitted names for review by the party’s National Executive Committee and Council of Elders.
The party’s NEC and Council of Elders are set to discuss Mr Mahama’s pick for running mate, but a high-level source has revealed to JoyNews that the former president would propose Prof Opoku-Agyemang to run with him in the 2024 general elections.
Speaking with JoyNews’ Parliamentary correspondent, some MPs indicated support for Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s candidature to run alongside Mr Mahama in the December general elections.
Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, the NDC MP for Tamale Central, stated, “I believe all of the candidates you’ve listed are more capable than Dr Bawumia, but I don’t think it makes any sense to change the running partner we employed in the 2020 elections.
He stated unequivocally that Prof Naana Jane’s running mateship was having an impact, and that replacing her would not make political sense.
“I don’t believe there will be any changes. I’ll be surprised if anything changes, and the only way that might happen is if Prof Naana announces she’s no longer willing to run,” he told Kwaku Asante.
On her side, Deputy Minority Whip Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah supported Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s running mate position.
She said, “Why should it be another name? She has been a supporter even before becoming well-known. People were rallying behind them, and she was one of them.”
Mrs Cudjoe-Ghansah noted that it is time for women to lead, underlining that it begins with the vice president role.
“I feel that choosing a female running mate demonstrates a commitment to gender equality and involvement in leadership. John Mahama has succeeded before, and he intends to do it again.
“We couldn’t get the general elections because of one or two reasons and this time, he’s going to name her again and have the first female vice president for Ghana,” she went on to say.
Joseph Kwame Kumah, the NDC MP for Kintampo North, also supported the proposal to keep Prof Opoku-Agyemang as his running partner.
“I am a gender activist, and I am extremely sensitive about gender. For me, our mother, Naana Jane, did an excellent job.”
Bawumia to win 2024 election with over 50% votes – Dan Botwe predicts
Dan Botwe, the Campaign Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), expressed confidence in Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s chances of success in the impending December elections.
According to the seasoned politician, Dr Bawumia will receive at least 50% of the votes necessary to capture the presidency.
Mr Botwe highlighted the NPP’s willingness to take power and win a majority vote in both the legislative and presidential elections set for later this year.
Speaking to media in Accra on Wednesday, February 28, Botwe expressed confidence in the NPP’s capacity to break the eight-year election cycle and emerge victorious.
He emphasises the party’s commitment to making meticulous efforts to achieve its goals, which include gaining a majority of the 275 parliamentary seats.
“We will work hard to achieve our objectives.” And we will win the majority of Parliament’s 275 members, as well as more than 50% of the presidential election.”
Dr Bawumia, after meeting with his campaign and manifesto teams, expressed confidence in his chances of winning the December election.
He said that the NPP had a better performance track record than the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“We have the vision, we have the record, and that is quite obvious in the president’s thrilling State of the Union address.
“As I listened to the president, it became evident that we surpassed the NDC government in every single field. I don’t identify a single sector where they outperformed us.”
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