Members of the Agona East District Assembly have unanimously approved a GHc8.8million budget for 2021 to ensure effective execution of planned developmental policies and programmes.

Out of the figure, ¢421,328.16 would be from the Assembly’s Internally Generated Fund (IGF), ¢1,936,756.29 from the government ¢4.9 million from the District Assemblies Common Fund and the remainder from development partners.

This was announced at the second ordinary meeting of the Assembly at Agona Nsaba to approve the budget to accelerate the implementation of the Assembly’s policies and programmes.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Agona East, Mr Dennis Armah-Frempong, urged the members to approve the budget to enable the Ministry of Finance to add it to the national budget of the first quarter of 2021.

He stated that the approved budget would cover reshaping of feeder roads, health, education, provision of potable water and to stimulate the local government concept to enhance quality decentralization.

Mr Armah-Frempong said the Assembly would receive more than GHc1.34million from District Development Fund (DDF), a grant from the World Bank, given to District Assemblies based on effective operations annually.

He said ¢103, 954 would also be received from donor partners to support the Assembly to undertake its developmental plans meant for next year to improve the quality of life of the people.

Mr Armah-Frempong said the Assembly would also receive a total of ¢4.99 million as its share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) that would come from the Central Government to assist the Assembly to undertake projects.

 He said the Assembly scored 99 per cent after a performance assessment by a team of local government experts from the Finance Ministry and Regional Coordinating Council.

The DCE commended the District finance team, led by Mr Maurice Bortsie, for working with a team from Local Government, Ministry of Finance and Regional Coordinating Council, to carry out an audit on its financial performance.

The District Coordinating Director, Rahim Musah, said the Assembly’s traditional revenue collection for 2020 was heavily affected by the novel Coronavirus pandemic which hit the country in March this year.

He said the Assembly’s revenue staff found it difficult to collect tolls and property rates.

Alhaji Musah said the Assembly was in the process of identifying all tourist sites in the district to enable the Assembly to generate more revenue to improving IGF.

He said the Assembly had decided to empower the Assembly Members to collaborate with the chiefs and land owners to assist the Assembly to develop all tourist sites.

Alhaji Musah added that the Area Councils were going to be empowered by the Assembly to handle all tourist sites and thus the Assembly would cede revenue collection to the Councils to rake in more revenue for it.

Presiding Member (PM) of the Agona East District Assembly and Adontenhene of Agona Asafo, Nana Kwao Ponsi II, urged the members to educate the people in their various communities to appreciate the importance of payment of taxes.

 He praised the Assembly for the excellent work that was done to secure the Assembly the District Development fund three consecutive times thereby improving the financial status.