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THE Zabzugu District Chief Executive (DCE) has noted that the economic challenges the country is witnessing, which has led to the decline in the value of the cedi against major currencies, is affecting the development pace of the district.

Mr Issifu Laa-Bandow, who made the observation at the First Ordinary Session of the assembly at Zabzugu in the Northern Region, said this had delayed the release of the district’s share of the third and fourth quarters of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF).

This, he said, had resulted in the non-completion of some programmes and projects in 2013.

We are about ending the first month of the second quarter of 2014 and we have not yet received the fourth quarter of 2013.

“The task ahead of us is definitely not an easy one, but I have the strong conviction that if we all put our shoulders to the wheel, we shall overcome,” he said.

Mr Laa-Bandow said at the beginning of 2014 the Ministry of Finance gave a projection of GH¢2,472,282 as the assembly's share of the DACF for the fiscal year. However, the assembly is yet to receive this year’s advice from the Administrator of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund.

When the 2014 Annual Estimates were approved at the end of last year, it was projected that the assembly would generate GH¢195,110.

As at March 31, GH¢34,210.55 had been realised, representing 17.86%.
Mr Laa-Bandow said the assembly's performance in revenue mobilisation needs to be enhanced to facilitate the execution of its projects and programmes outlined in the Annual Action Plan.

He said in order to arrest the downward trend of education, the District Directorate of the Ghana Education Service and the assembly organised a forum for stakeholders to elicit suggestions and ideas to improve teaching and learning.

He said USAID-sponsored projects, comprising the construction of three-unit classroom block at Gor Kukani, a kindergarten (KG) block at Kworli, a three-unit junior high school block at Zabzugu DA, a KG block and a three-seater toilet block at Kalegu, have been completed and handed over to the beneficiaries.

Mr Laa-Bandow urged public-spirited individuals, groups and organisations to join hands with the government to enhance educational pursuit in the district.

Touching on sanitation, he said the construction of institutional latrines under the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation programme in some schools is ongoing.

However, let me hasten to admit that one of the contractors, FAPRICE LTD, a Techiman-based company, is behind schedule. This may result in time overruns and the attendant cost implications, he added.

The DCE said the contract for the mechanisation of four high-yielding boreholes has also been awarded.

He said the assembly has received an advice from the District Development Facility Secretariat that based on its performance in the Functional Organisational Assessment Tool (FOAT V) 2011 assessment, the district has been allocated GH¢484,636.

This includes Investment Grant, GH¢442,636; and Capacity Building grant GH¢41,990.

Mr Laa-Bandow said the 7.3-kilometre (km) Mantile-Sakpalenga Baani road, the 4.8km Sakpalengabaani-Salinkuga road and the 8.2km Gumpela Junction-Gumpela have been listed for rehabilitation.

Also earmarked for reshaping are the Mognedo -Nugmado (12.km), Betido to Kukpalgu (18.5km) and Zabzugu to Kumtumbiyili (6.5km).

The Yendi-Zabzugu-Tatale Highway has been targeted for expansion and re-gravelling.
Source: GNA

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