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The forum, with the key focus on the implementation of the education and health components of the budget, provided opportunities for the citizens to make inputs into the development projects they would want to see implemented in 2017.

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The quest is to ensure that citizens have the interest in the budgeting process and would be able to make inputs and not therefore leave resource allocation and utilisation in the hands of public officials, whose interests and priorities may not necessarily reflect the interest of ordinary citizens.

The programme falls under ‘Making the Budget Work for Ghana’, project which aims at addressing current governance challenges affecting the effective delivery of basic education and health services in poor communities in Ghana through improvement in budget planning, execution and monitoring systems.

The four-year project is being funded by the World Bank under its Global Partnership for Social Accountability initiative and implemented by SEND Ghana

Speaking at the durbar, Mr Frederick Asiamah, Head of Planning Shai Osudoku District Assembly, urged the citizens to bring their ideas and contributions to the development of their communities to bear in the budgeting process.

This, he said they could do by bringing their suggestions to the Assembly through their elected representatives for considerations and implementation.

Mr Asiamah said the budget is a process and the programmes are reviewed to see work done and the tasks left undone are rolled-over to the coming year.

He said mobilisation of revenue is key in getting resources to implement the projects and encouraged the people to pay their taxes to get the jobs done.

Mr Asiamah said over the last nine months the District had carried out various projects in the education and health sectors in the Asutuare and surrounding communities, including school buildings, teachers’ quarters, and CHPS compound among others.

Besides the Assembly also organised District mock exams for junior high school students and a residential course for selected schools to help reduce the failure rate and boost performance.

Various sensitisation and prevention activities had been carried out to stem the spread of diseases.

There are also plans to enroll more basic schools onto the school feeding programme next year, build kindergartens, complete the school building projects, and construct a water closet toilet facility, among other projects.

During the open forum, the people expressed concerns about the treatment being meted out to persons with disability especially regarding their share of the District Assemblies Common Fund and appealed to the Assembly to expedite action to ensure that they are treated fairly.

There were also concerns about lack of a market, street lights and the maintenance of the only bridge that links Asutuare to other communities.

Mrs Harriet Nuamah-Agyemang, Programme Officer SEND Ghana, said the durbar was organised to enable the assemblies reach out to the communities since it was one of the key tasks for them under the decentralisation agenda.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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