The Head of the University of Ghana’s Department of Social Work, Dr, Augustina Naami has called on the government to review the disbursement of funds under the District Assembly Common Fund.
She was speaking exclusively to Univers News at a seminar organized by the Department of Social Work in the University of Ghana in collaboration with the University of North Carolina on Financial Capability and Asset Management (FCAB).
She suggested that the disbursement of funds should be reviewed and adjusted to an electronic or digitalized mode to provide easy access for persons with disabilities.
She bemoaned the inaccessible infrastructure at the various District Assemblies that impede the movement of persons with disabilities of which she believes the introduction of an electronic mode of disbursing the funds would effectively address.
“Some of the reforms that may be very useful to the District Assembly Command Fund has to do with giving them the money; maybe they should find an electronic way of disbursing the money. The persons with disabilities who attempt to access the funds face a lot of challenges. For instance, a wheelchair user may even find it hard to get to the District Assembly to collect the funds. So they will have to struggle, even with buses that are not accessible because of the inaccessible nature of our transportation system. I recommend an electronic way of sending the money, just as they do for leave and other social protection programs.”
She also touched on government’s act of giving out equipment to the vulnerable population. She explained that the issuing of these equipments could also pose a threat to the finances of persons with disabilities.
“And where they have to give them tools instead of the cash, the government should also find a way to transport these goods to their various places. I mean, some people live far away [from the District Offices]. And if you are giving the person a fridge or a freezer, but there’s no money added for the person to transport it, all of these will affect the small amount of money they have. So these are some of the reforms.”
On the subject of FCAB, Dr Naami explained the significance and the need for it to be introduced to the social work field.
“So basically financial capability has to do with helping people to understand what financial opportunities are out there. When they get to know the financial products and services, it’s also important for them to know how to access those services that are available. We train people, let them know about what is out there and give them that understanding on how to access the information.”
About the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF)
The District Assembly Common Fund is established by the District Assembly Common Fund Act 1993, (Act 455) under Article 242. The purpose of setting this fund is to provide resources to support the developmental activities of the local government. It is a fund created out of the consolidated fund to channel resources from the central government to the local governments for development.
The District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) is a pool of resources created under section 252 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana. It is a minimum of 5% of the national revenue set aside to be shared among all District Assemblies in Ghana with a formula approved by Parliament. It is a Development Fund which enables the use of the nation’s wealth throughout Ghana to the benefit of all citizens.
Story by: Esther Esenam Ofori | univers.ug.edu.gh