Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity given me.
Mr Speaker, at the Committee level, we went through the Formula before it came to the Committee of the Whole. A lot of recommendations were made at that level.
Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about the Persons with Disability (PWD) Fund. Last year, your Committee went round the country and made a few observations, some of which I want to bring to the notice of this House so that we see how best we could solve those issues.
Mr Speaker, last year, 2018, GH¢54 million was given to the Assemblies to be given to persons with disability.
This year, it has been increased to about GH¢ 62,000,000.00, and I believe that we would have to commend the Government for such a good work done.
Mr Speaker, however, the problem we had was that when we went round, we realised that in most of the places, people with disabilities do come to the Assemblies, therefore how to access the funds was a problem.
In most places, by the end of the year, as at November, the funds were still lying in the accounts and there was no proper data there for them to give the money to them, for which we are entreating all Hon Members, including the Committee on Local Government and Rural Develop- ment to take a proper look at those ones, when we go round.
Mr Speaker, when we look at this year's Formula, on development issues, we have national projects, for which we would have to commend the Government and the Administrator for a good work done.
A whopping sum of GH¢ 100,000,000 has been earmarked for the construction of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies' (MMDA) buildings, for which we would have to commend the Government.
This is because when we went round, in most places, the contractors were given the contract to build those buildings, but we checked and realised that even with the washrooms, as I laid before Parliament the other time, they cannot be entered; they are too small.
I hope that this year, with the GH¢ 100,000, 000.00 that is being given to them, there would be proper sketches of building drawings, so that it would be accessible to all.
Mr Speaker, there were most places that were not disability friendly. For example in Pusiga, we saw a very tall building, but realised that it was very difficult for the people with disability to access them.
Mr Speaker, more so, on School Feeding this year, we have given them GH¢100,000,000.00, which I believe is being managed at the Assembly level, and by the MMDAs.
Even though they are under the School Feeding Secretariat, they still manage to utilise the money to take care of the children, and because of that it is good that they have allocated a large sum of money to their Common Fund for that project.
Mr Speaker, if we look at DACF operations and office building, they have been given GH¢ 2, 000,000.00. We are also re-constructing the Local Government Service Office buildings. Those who have been visiting the place would realise that the building is very old and because of that, this year, a lot of projects are going to be undertaken.
We are going to build a new office complex with the sum of GH¢ 20,000,000.00. The office of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development would also be renovated this year, and we would have to commend the Government for such a good work.
Mr Speaker, on sanitation, most people are crying. Last year, we gave them about GH¢ 120,000,000.00, but this year, it is GH¢ 91,000,000.00. I would therefore plead with Government to look at this very well to ensure that they have enough funds for sanitation, to help prevent any problems when the rains set in.
Mr Speaker, on the Youth Employment Agency, most of our youth are just walking on the streets and so we have to ensure that we get employment for them.
This is one of the sectors that is helping us most, and I wish that Government would also have a critical look at that place by giving very good sums of money to the Agency, to ensure that most of our youth who have been moving round on the streets, would also get enough for themselves.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would also want to commend the Government, because if we look at net MMDAs funds this year, it has moved to about GH¢ 985,000,000.00, which is very laudable. We would also ensure that the releases also go in at the right time, so that they would get enough funds for their developmental projects.
Mr Speaker, I believe the problem we have as a country is monitoring. This year, we also informed the DACF secretariat to ensure that they do proper monitoring in the coming weeks. They have therefore assured the Committee that they would be going round to ensure that the funds are utilised properly.
Mr Speaker, your Committee on Local Government and Rural Development has also embarked on a series of activities. This year too, we are going to do same to ensure that we monitor the proper use of the Funds. According to the Auditor- General's Report, infractions have reduced by 40 per cent, and I believe it is due to our oversight responsibility that we have been doing all the time.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion that this House