Assemblies need resources to deliver mandate — Panel

Mr Komla Deku,MD,Dekab Associates,addressing the conferenceThe need to equip the newly created assemblies with the human and financial resources to deliver on their mandate to improve the lives of the people at the grassroots, came out strongly at the ongoing 66th Annual New Year School and Conference being held at the University of Ghana yesterday.

The government has increased   the number of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies from 170 to 216, in order to bring local governance to the doorsteps of the people with the announcement of GH¢1 million seed money for them to take off.

While lauding the need to improve local governance at the grassroots, some participants at the New Year School said most of the newly created assemblies are still starved of critical personnel to help prosecute the mandate of the assemblies.

The District Chief Executive of Binduri, Akologo Daniel Adoliba, in a contribution at a symposium yesterday, stressed the need for an “Affirmative Action” to resource the assemblies to be able to deliver on their functions.

He mentioned that critical staff like district engineers, planning officers, and budget officers were hardly available to most of the assemblies, rendering them ineffective in the performance of their work, citing the Binduri District Assembly as one of the deprived assemblies.

“If we want to help these newly-created assemblies to effectively moblise resources to develop their areas we should assist them with the human and financial resources to deliver on their functions,” Mr Adoliba said.

“We should be proactive to have an affirmative action so that these assemblies are well resourced to catch up with other well-endowed assemblies in terms of development,” the DCE of the newly created assembly added.

Michael Kofi Mensah,a development planning expert also lamenting on the deprivation of some of the assemblies and expressed the need for zonal expertise, where experts close by assemblies are deployed to deprived assemblies to work in the absence of the required skills in those assemblies.

Mr Mensah who was a former Director of Policy at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development said, the human resource gap in some of the assemblies could be filled through e- governance involving assemblies using electronic resources, share skills and competencies to facilitate development.

He said when the assembly concept started in the 80s, the assemblies were equipped with planning officers and other critical staff, and mechanisms were put in place to measure the progression of the staff needs of the assemblies.

Mr. Mensah, Managing Consultant of Multiple Linkages, however, regretted that such mechanisms are no more in place and stressed the need to conduct need assessment of the assemblies to fill in the gap of staff deficiency.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

 

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