The Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah who also doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi constituency has on Thursday, October 21, 2021, launched the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assembly’s Composite Budget hearing for 2020-2025 at Kwesimintsin in the Western Region.

 Delivering his speech, the Western Regional Minister, Dr. Okyere Darko Mensah emphasized that composite budget hearing is in line with the requirement of regulation 17(3) of the Public Finance Management (PMF) regulation 2019, LI 23/78 which place responsibility on Regional Coordinating Councils to organize budget hearing for all public entities including MMDAS.

 He further stated that budget hearing is an important aspect of public accountability which enhances public trust, education, and transparency, which are the bedrock of decentralization.

Dr. Okyere Darko Mensah commended the MMDAS for their great effort in achieving over 70% of their targeted internal generated revenue (IGF) despite how the COVID 19 pandemic has affected every phaseth of the economy. He applauded Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) for exceeding their target. He therefore encouraged the MMDAS to achieve 100% of their target in the next coming year since COVID 19 has subsided.

 He suggested that the MMDAS should find new ways to invest in the youth to create enabling environment for economic development. He added that, the MMDAS should not always invest in social amenities, mentioning latrines, but they should also invest in entrepreneurs in their locality.

 Dr. Okyere Darko Mensah concluded by urging the newly confirmed Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to stay focused and committed. He incited them to tackle issues relating to security, proper community mining, and how to generate more revenue. He charged them to be of good behavior at their various assemblies.

On his part, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, in a speech read on his behalf by a rep from the Ministry of Finance, Madam Emma Anokye Ampretwum, expressed his gratitude to MMDAS for their continuous commitment over the years, and he believes in them to exhibit some level of cooperation throughout the budget development and implementation period.

 He stated that some measures and initiatives have been implemented by the Ministry of Finance, making reference to Ghana care and other initiatives, to deal with issues of the fiscal impact of the COVID19 pandemic which include, shortfalls in revenue and increased expenditure.

 He instigated the Metropolitan Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and Metropolitan Municipal and District Coordinating Directors (MMDCDs) to prioritize and commit financial and human resources to support finalization and approval of the plans for onwards submission to the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) for certification.

 He bemoaned the manner in which some MMDAS continue to condone the practice of implementing the approved budget without a recost to Ghana Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMS) and later realize these transactions on the system.

 In his welcome address, the Municipal Chief Executive for Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly (EKMA) noted that the annual composite budget hearing gives all MMDAS the opportunity to reflect on their achievements, and examine challenges.

 He opined that the budget of MMDAS is an important policy document that serves as a medium for converting assemblys’ goals and values into plans geared towards development in the form of infrastructure growth, which in turn leads to the general improvement in the lives of the citizens.

He encouraged the MMDAS to collaborate and learn from each other, best practices for implementation of their various assemblies.

 He impelled the MMDAS to generate enough revenue for their activities to avoid over-dependence on the common fund, and also the stakeholders in the development, to participate and make a meaningful contribution towards the successful implementation of the budget.

In attendance at the launch was the Western Regional Coordinating Director, some MMDCEs MMDCDs, and Presiding Members and Chief in the Western Region.

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