Some women groups in the Wa Municipal Assembly of the Upper West Region have advocated the use of local languages to explain government’s policies and programmes, especially issues on budgeting for effective participation and contribution among women.
The women said the practice where stakeholders and their collaborators use English language to explain policies and programmes had contributed to the side-lining of several segments of the population, who do not understand the English Language.
“Several of us do not own wireless sets while an equal segment of us, especially those in the rural communities are always busy with farm work and other businesses and have little or no time to listen to radio or television, with its messages mostly in the English Language”, the women said.
The women activists raised these concerns at the Upper West Regional Composite Budget hearing organised in Wa.
The campaigners said they were always sidelined in making inputs into policies and programmes, despite the fact that they were the direct beneficiary of such policies.
The Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development organised the forum for government workers, selected traders and a cross section of the public to deepen local governance to accelerate national development.
The women suggested the active involvement of the clergy and Imams in the implementation of government’s policies and programmes, to enable them to explain to their followers in local languages.
The participants also advocated that all water-logged areas in the Wa Municipal and other district capitals should be sold to private developers to establish economic trees plantations in place of the construction of houses and other structures, which were prone to floods during the rainy seasons.
Mr Sulemana Alhassan, Upper West Regional Minister in a speech read on behalf of the Finance Ministry, urged MMDAs to leverage resources for all the programmes of the assemblies, including those implemented by the departments.
The Ministry of Finance bemoaned the practice where some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) were denying some departments within the assemblies’ portions of their Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to function properly.
The Ministry noted that the practice had affected district level development and defeated the spirit of the decentralisation policy.
It noted that several MMDAs used all their IGF on goods and services expenditures to the detriment of the tax payers development needs.
The Ministry therefore urged the MMDAs to be sensitive to the tax payers and demonstrate that the rates and levies they collected from them were ploughed back into the district level development.
It reminded the assemblies that the policy of using at least 20 per cent of total IGF on capital investment was still in force and must be respected.