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Government poised to sanitise local government system – Hajia Mahama

By
Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, July 3, GNA –
The Government is poised to sanitise the local government system by ensuring
that there was effective institutional coordination and harmonisation, Hajia
Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has said.

She said there would
be effective coordination of funding and development partner support as well as
deepening of the platform for policy coordination and harmonisation.

Hajia Mahama, who was
opening a five-day orientation programme for Metropolitan, Municipal and
District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on Monday, said: “The Ministry has also
initiated processes leading to the rationalisation of funding and support to
decentralisation in Ghana through a comprehensive review of the existing
arrangements”.

She said the Ministry
was also collaborating with other key ministries such as the Ministry for Inner
Cities and Zongo Development, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources
and the Regional Development and Integration Ministry to ensure the realisation
of government’s vision for the country.

The orientation
programme, which is being attended by 200 MMDCEs from all over the country, is
designed to inculcate in them the requisite knowledge, skills and the right to
lead decentralised governance effectively.

It seeks to acquaint
MMDCEs on the demands of the District Chief Executive and to equip them with
the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective
transformational leadership at the local level.

Hajia Mahama said to
ensure effective delivery and an improved performance monitoring system
rolled-out by the government, all MMDCEs would receive reporting templates and
formats to guide them in submitting periodic reports on their activities as per
a performance contract to be signed for continuous monitoring.

She said the Ministry
had initiated a process of reviewing the current National Policy of
Decentralisation to accommodate the new reforms and policy directions.

Hajia Mahama said the
Ministry had constituted a team to come up with proposals in consultation with
key stakeholders in the local government sector to review and reconcile all
enabling legal framework hampering the true implementation of effective
decentralisation in Ghana.

She said notable among
the laws to be reviewed was the recently passed Local Government Act 936 of
2016, the Local Government Financial Memoranda of 2004, and the Model Standing
Orders for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

“The Ministry has
also constituted a team to work towards reviewing all the laws and policies
that inhibits the election of MMDCEs.

“The Ministry has
finalised a manual on fee fixing and property rates to enhance the resource
mobilisation capacities of MMDAs,” she noted.

Hajia Mahama said a
major operational problem affecting district assemblies in particular and local
governance in general was the non-functioning of the sub-district structures.

“These
sub-structures namely Urban/Town/Zonal Councils and the Unit Committee’s are to
assist the assemblies in the performance of their functions at the community
level,” she said.

She said: “Sadly,
in most of our District Assemblies these sub-structures are either not in place
or if they are, they are not functioning effectively in contributing to the
development process as envisioned in the decentralised planning process, which
must begin from the community level.

Hajia Mahama said:
“We are determined to operationalise and strengthen the sub-structures. We
will need the full support of all regional coordinating directors to ensure
that this becomes a reality as we consider them as bedrock of our Local
Government System and a platform for reaching majority of our people at the
local level.”

She said revenue
generation was no doubt a key component of assemblies’ activities adding;
“sadly, most assemblies are not doing well in this area”.

The Minister said
there seemed to be an emerging trend whereby some assemblies were increasingly
becoming over reliant on the District Assemblies Common Fund.

“We want this trend
reversed. Assemblies must develop revenue mobilisation mechanisms for increased
revenue mobilisation, ” she said.

GNA

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