LLG gives financial powers to wards

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 09th November 2011

THE Wapenamanda local level government council in Enga has come up with a novel approach to give financial powers to councillors.
It is a blueprint for financial management designed to effectively provide services to the rural people.
Wapenamanda local level government president Nick Andake had opened bank accounts for all 34 of his wards.
“All government funding will go to the joint district planning and budget priorities committee, and then straight into the accounts of the wards,” Andake said.
“The wards have planning committees which will then expend the funds according to their priorities.
“There is no way this money could be misused at the village level. All the villagers will be keeping an eye on their councillor to spend the money properly.
“If the councillor says the money is for the rehabilitation of a classroom, he will have to spend it on the classroom. The people will be watching.”
Andake said the advantage of having such a system was that it tied down the national MP to the villagers.
An expert on the Organic Law on provincial and local level governments, Andake said the system was proper and was a tacit extension of the current financial system.
He said all parliament had to do was put in the enabling legislation to allow the ward councils to collect taxes.
Andake said many councils in the country were missing out on development because they did not have plans resulting in money being misused.
Since taking office for the second term in 2008, Andake had research teams going out to all the villages to collect data.
He then put the results together and came up with the new financial system, which he is confident, will lift the status of the least developed district in Enga.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and senior cabinet ministers had been invited to officiate at the five-year plan launch on Saturday.