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Government committed to ensure the election of MMDCEs – President

By Ken
Sackey, GNA

Accra, July 5, GNA- President Nana Addo Dankwa
Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday reiterated government’s commitment for the election of
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s).

He gave the assurance that the process for the
amendment of the 1992 Constitution to facilitate the exercise would soon be
underway.

He said the election of MMDCE’s would lead to
the deepening of the country’s democracy and ensure better accountability.

“It is time to make it work,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo was addressing 199 new
MMDCE’s at an orientation session organised by the Ministry of Local and Rural
Development at the Institute of Local Government Service, at Ogbojo, near
Accra.

The President told the MMDCE’s that “I belong
to the group that has always advocated the direct, popular election of Chief
Executives. It is now a Manifesto commitment of the ruling party, the NPP (New
Patriotic Party), so you must be aware that it is going to be fulfilled… which
will make you the last batch of Chief Executives to be appointed under the
current system”.

He stated that they had nothing to fear in the
direct election of Chief Executives under the new systems provided they gained
the confidence of the electorate with their conduct and performance in office.

President Akufo-Addo said it was instructive
that for the effective and efficient and transparent achievement of
government’s vision to transform the socio-economic fortunes of the country, it
was important that Chief Executives eschewed conflicts and acrimonious
situation with Members of Parliament (MP).

Such engagements, he said frustrated the work
of government, explaining that in as much as he would not want to issue any
edict on anyone’s political ambition, they should remind themselves that
resentments arising from such situations most often led to the misfortunes of
political parties.

He said the new paradigm of effective
governance demanded maximum co-operation between Chief Executive, MPs and the
officials of the Development Authorities.

“The closer and more sincere will be the
co-operation, the greater and more extensive will be the development.”

President Akufo-Addo told the MMDCE’s that
though the sector minister had the responsibility to oversee the local
governance and decentralisation implementation process, they should also accord
their regional minister respect because they were also required to monitor and
evaluate their work.

“I expect you to accord Regional Ministers all
their due respect, as they are the President’s representatives in the Regions,”
he added.

The President urged the Chief Executives to
leverage on the reformative policies being undertaken by government to
transform their local economies and preside over the creation of jobs for the
people.

According to the President, the district was
the target for all the programmes for aggressive industrialisation and value
addition to agricultural produce, modernising agriculture, improving production
and efficiency and achieving food security that government was introducing to
grow the economy.

“The Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication
Programme (IPEP) will be implemented at the constituency level, where the
allocation of the equivalent of one million dollars annually will be used to
finance capital expenditure for infrastructure and other facilities in the
localities” he said.

He said: “The One Village One Dam policy
initiative, like all the other innovative introductions to the economy, are all
very much local initiatives. I am hoping that a genuine sense of fair
competition will come into the operation of the districts.

“You have the opportunity to change your
districts from places where people move from, to places where people move to.
Let your factories thrive and you will soon discover that people will move to
your districts, instead of the current position where all your young and strong
people move away to Accra and Kumasi.”

President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that
the Common Fund allocations to the Chief Executives would be regular and on
time, but asked them to work on their internally generated funds, as they would
not make the progress they should if the development programmes of their
localities were solely dependent on the relatively meagre sums they got from
the Common Fund allocation.

“Please apply your DACF (District Assemblies
Common Fund) judiciously towards the execution of planned and approved
projects. It is not for recurrent expenditure,” he said.

“It is a good idea quickly to get your
Assemblies to restructure your financial operational system and targets, to
take advantage of the new initiatives introduced by government to promote accelerated
economic growth.” 

GNA

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