for the opportunity. I rise to make this Statement on the floor of this august House on improving equity in resource allocation to ensure the general wellbeing of the citizenry across the country. Although Ghana has over the years consistently made tremendous strides in improving upon the socio economic wellbeing of her citizenry, there has not been a well developed data that holistically assesses, compares and measures how key public services are delivered.
The absence of such data has led to a lopsided development. This Statement seeks to focus on the disparities in resource allocation and availability in the performance of various MMDAs towards rapid socio economic growth.
Mr Speaker, a number of factors militate against MMDA level of development; these include the absence of comprehensive data for policy makers, the region's poverty level, equitability of resource allocation from central government, ability to raise Internally Generated Revenue (IGF), good leadership, collaborative working, over concentration of Government's inter- ventions and the availability or otherwise of donor-funded projects in a specific area, among others.
Mr Speaker, I wish to bring to the notice of the House a project produced on an annual basis by UNICEF Ghana and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Develop- ment (CDD, Ghana), in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development referred to as the District League Table (DLT). It is an independent tool for promoting social accountability. It is a simple ranking tool showing national progress towards delivering development across Ghana's 216 MMDAs.
The tool assesses MMDA's com- pliance against administrative and statutory provisions and also monitors Ghana's actual progress in improving development and wellbeing across the country as a whole, breaking down the indicators to the district level. Key district indicators are aggregated into an index which then allows districts to be ranked from first down to 216th place in terms of level of development.
The results of the 2016 District League Table saw La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal, in the Greater Accra Region with a score of 77.8 per cent topping the league and North Tongu in the Volta Region with a score of 40.9 per cent at the bottom. The national average is 58.9 per cent, below which 101 districts are found, it is therefore clear that, the majority of districts are still far from this goal.
The overarching aim is to draw Government and other stakeholders' attention and to use the results to identify gaps in development, target support better, and monitor progress year on year.
Mr Speaker, article 17, clause 4 (a) of the 1992 Constitution states and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from enacting laws that are reasonably necessary to provide for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalance in the Ghanaian society.”
In addition, articles108 and 179 of the Constitution provide the legal basis for Parliament in approving public spending, settlement of financial matters and goes further to, among others, analyse the various figures allocated to the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies and to determine whether the projects mapped out to be executed are in line with the development agenda presented to the House as contained in the Budget
Statement and to also ensure equity and fair distribution of funds for the development of the country in its entirety.
Mr Speaker, it is against this backdrop that I crave your indulgence to make the following recommendations; that this House critically examines findings of the DLT project for adoption and implemen- tation in our future budgets moving forward. Again, I wish to recommend that the joint Committees of Finance and Local Government ensure that projects are evenly distributed across Ghana by pointing out these gaps to the Executive for alignment.
Mr Speaker, I conclude by calling on your very goodself and the entire House to provide the needed political will and commitment to correct these imbalances.
Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye (NDC - - Odododiodioo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by my very good Colleague from Chereponi.
Mr Speaker, the District League Table is a very important measurable tool for transparency and accountability in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). It helps to analyse how appointees at the various District Assemblies embark upon the policies and programmes of Governments and other Agencies in the six mentioned areas, where statistically Ghana finds development, especially in the areas of
security, water, education, accountability, et cetera.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately, some MMDAs have problems in assessing their full potential in the development of these areas. So, it makes it difficult when weights are put on such indicators and marks are awarded.
In the beginning, it was difficult for some of the MMDAs to accept the idea, and that led to agitations among communities against the Assemblies, with the belief that the Assemblies were not up to the task. Some chiefs and opinion leaders were not happy with the positioning of their various districts when the DLT was announced.
Mr Speaker, slowly, Ghanaians are beginning to appreciate the fact that the DLT is not meant to name and shame, but to draw attention to the weakness within our development agenda in certain communities and MMDAs. As such, we should do well to improve upon them.
Mr Speaker, two years ago, there was a district in the Ashanti Region which was 176 th on the league table. Last year, because this district carefully analysed the output and the indicators on the DLT, it was able to work on their strengths and build up on their weaknesses. This year, I was not surprised when I saw that district within the first ten on the Table.
So, this is a very good mechanism for assessing development at the local level.
Mr Speaker, in support of the Statement, I would say that it would be good that Parliament, as an institution, has interacts with the people, organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), which are involved in the DLT, to
see how we could also contribute to enhance the work they are doing.
One of the main areas is environmental sanitation. Districts which continue to practise open defaecation are always found in the lower ranks of the Table. That tells us that, as districts, we need to improve upon the access to public sanitation, so that we could move up.
When we take it up, as Hon Members of Parliament, it would also give us the feedback on what our MMDAs do. This is so that, we would also be able to prioritise our areas of contribution towards development.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.