The Bongo District in the Upper East Region took its turn today in presenting its 2020 composite budget in a series of regional budget hearings being presided over by a combined team made up of the Upper East Regional Budget Analyst Chief Mustapha Badimsugru Adam and his deputy, Mr. Inusah Suraj from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Madam Debora Ehsun, a representative from the Ministry of Finance.
Bongo District Chief Executive [DCE,] Hon. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga in his welcome address remarked that it had now become normal practice for his Assembly to meet critical stakeholders annually, to present its expenditure intensions as well as, revenue targets for the ensuing year. He said the objective was primarily to grant key stakeholders to critique the budget, ask questions for clarity and also, make meaningful suggestions into the whole budget document.
The DCE recalled that just last 2018, the Assembly had to move its core staff to the regional capital, Bolgatanga for the budget presentations and was glad that this year’s hearings were being held within the districts as it created an easy reach to the venue for stakeholders. He noted that the new Local Governance Act, ACT 936 – 2016, vests powers in the Assembly as a planning authority to ensure equitable spread of development projects in the district and stressed that, it was only proper that the Assembly engages the people for whom it was planning to serve.
He said various unit and departmental heads through their various schedules already had a firm idea regarding the needs of district but appealed to the participant to come all-out with their aspirations in order to have better view of what is good and do-able for the district keeping in mind that, there were always not enough resources to satisfy all needs at the same time.According to Mr. Ayinbisa, his administration saw the annual views the annual budget presentations to the public as a sign that the Assembly had no underhand dealings in delivering its mandate to the people. He noted in addition that, the budget hearings were also a booster to the transparency efforts of the Assembly so as to not to cause any unnecessary suspicions from the citizenry or civil society organisations in the area that could mar the smooth administration of the district.
Hon. Ayinbisa commended the technocrats from the regional budget office and from the ministries in Accra saying their expert guidance and inputs to the budget presentation was always welcomed.
Upper East Regional Budget Analyst, Chief Mustapha Badimsugru Adam in his preliminary comments observed that, the annual composite budget hearings fall in line with the Public Financial Management Act and called on staff and management of the Assembly to take serious note of concerns from the technical team and incorporate same into the final budget. He said the presentations also help to keep the Assembly’s departments in check regarding their Annual Action Plans as these have to be aligned to the budget.
Participants at the budget hearing included heads of department, representatives from civil society organisations, the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, association of market women and youth groups in the district among others.Chief Badimsugru cautioned management of the Assembly to adhere to prescribed expenditure modules such as the GIFMIS as this was the only “legal financial platform for government transactions and payment for goods and services” unless otherwise instructed.
Meanwhile, Bongo District Budget Analyst, Mr. Sibawey Ahmed and District Development Planning Officer, Mr. Thomas Kugoriba jointly did a detailed presentation of the district’s budget containing both expenditure and revenue estimates for 2020.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam