Assembly members must enjoy salaries – Obiri Boahen

Nana Boahen

Nana Boahen

The Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Obiri Boahen, has advocated government should pay assembly members salaries instead of the sitting allowances they currently received.
He explained that assembly members worked so hard in their areas of operation, sometimes with their own resources; therefore there was the need for government to pay them better salaries.
Nana Boahen made the call at a transformational local governance reforms and implications seminar held in Accra on Friday.
The seminar themed: ‘Towards multi-party, chief executives and assemblies: How prepared and ready are the parties to parties in local governance’ was organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG).
He also called for the allocation of offices to them and engaged national service personnel as their staff.
According to Nana Boahen, when these are done, it would help promote local governance systems.
Touching on the seminar, the Deputy General Secretary admitted that there could be challenges that would come with the processes of electing metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), but the NPP was all for it.
“Though the election process will come with challenges, NPP is all for it, it is the position of the NPP that MMDCEs must be elected,” he said.

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of IDEG, said, the debate on the participation of political parties in governance at the local level has received growing attention.
He said: “During the 2016 general election, the debate became more intense as it appeared that almost all the major political parties featured the promise to elect MMDCEs on multi-party basis in their manifestoes.
The NPP for instance promised to directly elect MMDCEs within 24 months when in power, the NDC on the other hand, promised to implement the CRC’s recommendation on the election on MMDCEs, it is against this background that IDEG, under the theme is exchanging ideas on the proposed democratic devolution reform with the NPP as the nation steadily moves towards implementation,” he said.
Dr. Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow at IDEG, in an interview on the sidelines of the programme, said it was time Ghana adopted the process of electing MMDCEs as it was helping in the local governance processes in Uganda, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
He said the electorates when allowed to elect MMDCEs would make them accountable.
Dr. Jonah disagreed on the issues of elected MMDCEs would sabotage central government agenda, saying “there will be no sabotage; instead it will be a different form of government, that will promote development at the local levels”.
The seminar which also explored the implications and likely impact of the proposed reforms on the transformation of Ghana’s economy, society and politics in the next 30 years had members and leaders of the NPP sharing ideas.
Some of the participants who spoke to the GNA observed that their capacities had been built towards the involvement in local governance system as they would field candidates for the positions of MMDCEs and assembly membership and also drive the development agenda at the local level. -GNA

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