Ghanaians will be going to the polls on Tuesday, 19th December, 2023 to elect new Assembly and Unit Committee members who will constitute the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies over the next four years.
This exercise is an integral part of our governance processes, and indeed forms the fulcrum of Ghana’s local and decentralization governance, which was birthed by the first government of the Fourth Republic, under the able leadership of His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings of blessed memory.
Over the years, Ghana’s local government system has been acclaimed on the African continent and elsewhere for giving true meaning to governance and participation in development at the local level.
The NDC has however observed with concern, the extremely low level of public interest in tomorrow’s elections which will mark the eighth time since we started holding District-level elections in Ghana. The reasons for this generally low euphoria on the part of Ghanaians towards tomorrow’s election are not far-fetched.
As we speak, almost all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have been put into a state of financial distress by the failed Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government. The current financial state of majority of MMDAs today is a reflection of the state of mismanagement that our economy and country as a whole has witnessed under the current government.
Due to the obnoxious and anti-development Capping and Realignment policy of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) which is used by MMDAs to undertake various developmental projects, is being diverted for other purposes. This situation has left many of these MMDAs highly encumbered and incapable of undertaking any meaningful development at the local level.
Currently, Common Fund payments are in arrears for several quarters, thereby making it difficult for the Assemblies to procure even basic supplies for their effective running. This coupled with the capping and alignment policy have conspired to deny MMDAs of resources for undertaking developmental projects at the local level.
In most cases, between 20% to 50% of the IGF of various Assemblies is capped, while in some instances, everything including market tolls, toilet fees and mortuary fees are taken by central government, leaving the Assemblies with nothing.
The above state of affairs has rendered the various Assemblies mere white elephants, as development at the local level continues to suffer. This has affected public confidence in the ability of elected representatives such as Assembly and Unit Committee Members to attract development to local communities, thereby undermining the local government system.
It is against this backdrop that the next government of the National Democratic Congress under the able leadership of H.E John Dramani Mahama, will take concrete steps to bring life back to our local government system. We are committed to vigorously pursuing measures and reforms, including but not limited to the following:

  1. We shall take steps to revive the ailed Assemblies by abolishing the Capping and Alignment policy in order to free up the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) which will be channelled into the real development needs of the MMDAs in order to address development, including infrastructural and other needs of local areas.
  2. Empower the Assemblies to generate and retain more internally-generated funds to finance their operations and other activities.
  3. Complete the operationalisation of sub-district structures (Town and Area Councils and Unit Committees) with the allocation of a percentage of the Assemblies revenue to fund micro projects within their jurisdiction.
  4. Reduce drastically the number of Ministers and redirect the savings made to pay allowances to Assembly members.
  5. Reverse the current trend of recentralisation of award of District-level contracts to ensure real devolution of power to the districts.
    These measures will go a long way to restore the almost broken local government system, strengthen decentralisation and deepen accountability.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) hereby calls on Ghanaians to participate fully and actively in tomorrow’s District Assembly Elections.

Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah
(National Chairman)