President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), Bismark Baisie Nkum has called for a bailout from the government to help the operation of the various Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
According to him, most of the MMDAs will not be able to meet their revenue targets before the end of the year following the COVID-19 outbreak.
In an interview with Citi News, the NALAG President indicated that most MMDAs stand the chance of not being able to execute their plans for the year.
“Government should bail us out. Already, the government has bailed out individuals by giving them free water, free electricity, and in some cases, subsidized levies. We prepared our budget for the year 2020 without any recognition for COVID-19. This is a situation that we are confronted with so we have had to revise our budget. So the school buildings that we planned to build and the other things that we planned have all been channelled into fighting COVID-19. So there is no money to do all those things and once government has found it necessary to bail out businesses, it is also prudent and right for them to bail out local government so that we can also execute our plans for the year,” Bismark Nkum said.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his fifth national address on Sunday, April 5, 2020, announced that the government will take care of the water bills for all Ghanaians for April, May and June 2020 following an increase in the country’s coronavirus cases amidst a partial lockdown of the epicentres of the disease.
A week later, he announced that the government will fully cover the bills of low-income consumers of electricity in the country for April, May and June 2020.
The remaining consumers who fall outside of this category will also enjoy a 50 percent reduction in the cost of electricity for the same period, according to the President.
A tax holiday has also been arranged for health workers in the country for the next three months beginning April 2020.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that “all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of 50 per cent of their basic salary per month, i.e April, May, and June. The March allowance will be paid alongside that of April.”