MPs Livid With Finance Ministry … Over GHS6bn Common Fund Arrears

Members of Parliament are enraged over the arrears owed the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) by the Ministry of Finance. Accordingly, they have warned of taking action against the Ministry of Finance, should it fail to clear the outstanding debt by the end of the second quarter of this year.

The First Deputy Speaker, who is the MP for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Owusu, addressed the media in Parliament on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

Though he acknowledged that the Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei-Asare, had assured members of the government’s commitment to settling the arrears, the MPs want to see concrete evidence.

They are not even sure of the exact amount the ministry owes the DACF and have thus asked for a reconciliation following the conflicting figures provided by the ministry and the MP for Ho Central, Benjamin Kpodo.

“I have heard from the Minister of Finance designate, but I require evidence and assurance that the figures provided by Benjamin Kpodo and the Ministry of Finance have been reconciled.

“Otherwise, we may need to take action against the Finance Ministry. When it comes to the Common Fund, we must assert our authority as a House.

“Therefore, we anticipate receiving a report and by the end of June, we expect all arrears to be accounted for and sufficient funds to be disbursed to the assemblies,” he said.

The Bekwai MP emphasised the importance of promptly resolving these outstanding arrears to ensure an efficient meeting of the financial needs of the assemblies.


Benjamin Komla Kpodo, the MP for Ho Central, said the government owes the DACF over GH¢6 billion and blames it on the delay in releasing funds by the Ministry of Finance.

Benjamin Kpodo, a Deputy Ranking Member on the Local Government Committee of Parliament, said this while commenting on the proposed formula for distributing the DACF for the 2024 financial year.

He remarked that the Ministry of Finance’s failure to disburse the common fund quarterly violates the Constitution.

He stated that “the Ministry of Finance has been violating the Constitution. Article 252(2) clearly states that the disbursement should be done on a quarterly basis, which they were not doing. As we speak now, the Common Fund is owed some GH¢3.5 billion over the past two years.”

He added that “for 2023, the debt has again risen by another GH3 billion. So, I don’t know where the Ministry of Finance is keeping the money meant for the District Assembly Common Fund.”


The Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei-Asare, who is awaiting parliamentary approval to be a Minister of State at the same ministry, explained that the government is working on settling the Common Fund.

Abena Osei-Asare, who is the MP for Atewa East and admitted to the arrears, disagreed with the view that the government had violated a Supreme Court ruling with regards to the disbursement.

“I want to put on record that, Mr. Speaker, yes, we do owe the Common Fund some arrears, and we are working very hard to make sure we pay those sums of money. But I also want to put on record that we haven’t defaulted or that we haven’t gone against the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“That is a fact that I should put on the table. We have come to the Finance Committee to explain how we arrive at revenue numbers for DACF.

“So, I just want to put it on the table that we haven’t gone against the ruling of the Supreme Court. But I want to assure the House that we will work together to make sure we clear any outstanding debt that we have with DACF.”


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