Lack of funds hamper regional development

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Tsumeb Constituency Councillor Lebbius Tobias

Tsumeb

Regional councils are said to be hampered in bringing development to the regions by a lack of funds, with some arguing that many councillors have good ideas, but lack the funds to put their ideas into action.

Tsumeb Constituency Councillor Lebbius Tobias says councillors are often criticised by the people they serve for not delivering on promises to bring services and development, despite the fact councillors do not have the money to implement what they envisioned.

“Often people complain that we councillors are not doing anything, but one thing they don’t know is that we don’t have money to do so immediately, as we are not factored into the budget as compared to ministries.

“We rely on central government to provide us with funds and it is not always guaranteed that you will be offered funds when you have projects to undertake,” Tobias said when he was addressing residents here on Tuesday.

“It is a lengthy process for constituency councils to acquire funds right away, unless they are lucky that they already have an envisaged project which was scheduled to be undertaken in a specific area or constituency.”

Tobias is, however, optimistic the proposed Constituency Development Budget Bill, which was recently tabled in the National Council, will assist regional councillors to undertake and hasten small developmental project in their areas as funds will be available for such purposes.

“As we speak, the Bill is already with the Minister of Rural and Urban Development, Sofia Shaningwa. We’re just waiting for a response and once it is approved we will see regional councils having a small budget and this will filter down to constituencies,” he said.

The Constituency Development Budget Bill was proposed through the Regional Development Coordination Committee (RDCC). The RDCCs provide a platform for projects identified at constituency level to be tabled in management meetings and discussed extensively.

Identified projects that are not approved by the RDCCs are included in the strategic plans of regional councils for further consideration as and when resources become available. Chief regional officers chair these committees.

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