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Deductions made at source of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) is affecting the operations of most of the assemblies as they are sometimes left with very little to expend, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister said on Friday.

He said some assemblies ended up with one/third of their share of the fund to operate on after those deductions adding; it had become an issue of worry to both the assemblies and the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC) as it blights their effective functioning.

The Regional Minister cited the Sunyani Municipal Assembly (SMA) as having just GHC 102,000 out of its share of GHC 300,000 from the DACF in the second quarter of this year.

Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo was speaking in Sunyani during a meeting requested by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with KAB Governance Consult and the BUSAC Fund to enlist the support of the RCC for the development; strengthening, promotion and growth of Micro-Small Enterprises (MSEs) in the region.

In attendance were representatives of some selected trade associations in the region including National Beauticians Association (NABA) and Batik, Tie and Dye Manufacturers.

He pledged the commitment and support of the RCC for the project, adding that impartial, fairness and equity in the allocation of resources to operators was a pragmatic and proper way to enhance the sector.

Mr.Nyamekye-Marfo therefore emphasized that loans, credits and other social interventions that would be available for disbursement, “will be devoid of partisan considerations and will be given to whoever deserved it”.

The Regional Minister noted that the unwillingness of beneficiaries to pay back loans in the past was the problem that needed to be addressed for the sustenance of such facilities.

He urged the media to whip up the interest of the MSEs on the need to form associations to facilitate their accessibility to loans and other credit facilities.

The Regional Minister assured that the RCC would impress on the assemblies to relate effectively with the MSEs, saying that would help to increase their revenue base but a problem to that effect was lack of data on them by the assemblies, he added.

Mr. Kwasi Afriyie Badu, Chief Executive Officer of KAB Governance Consult, gave the background and genesis of the project and explained that it was incumbent on the media within the framework of the fourth republican constitution to help in the alleviation of poverty.

He, therefore, reiterated that the MSEs held the potential to reducing poverty in the country but lacked the necessary rapport with stakeholders for the realization of that virtue, hence the support of the assemblies linked with the support of the media would propel the sector to achieve meaningful growth.

Mr. Afriyie Badu said basically, the project sought how best the assemblies in their planning processes could factor in the concerns of micro-small scale entrepreneurs to address their needs for growth and development, stressing that if the MSEs developed in the communities and localities, that would bring relief to the people.

Mr. Bright Blewu, General Secretary of the GJA, earlier said the association was partnering KAB Governance Consult and the BUSAC Fund in the implementation of the project nationwide which is designed to promote MSEs Sector through advocacy and the engagement of the media in the activities pertaining to the project.

He explained that the MSEs sector was the bedrock of the economy and remained dear to all governments and political parties adding that since there was a new political leadership in place, there was the need to follow up to brief the RCC about what the project entailed to solicit their support for its successful implementation.

Mr. Blewu said the thriving of micro-small businesses would not only create jobs for the jobless but also wealth for both employers and employees in that sector.

Mr. Emmanuel Mensah of Brong-Ahafo Clay Moulders Association, said their industry had the potential to provide employment to a lot people in the region but they faced the problem of marketing because the lack of its patronage by the government had rendered it unattractive to local people.

He said huge sums of scarce convertible currency was spent in the importation of clinker from Norway for the production of Portland cement, suggesting that, that amount could be used to promote the use of burnt bricks.

He therefore called on the government to come out with a legislation that would direct all the assemblies to use burnt bricks for at least one/third of their building projects to ensure not only ready market for the products but also for the expansion of the industry.
Source: GNA

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