The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has urged all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and members of National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), to join the referendum campaign, in order to attain 40 per cent turnout and 75 per cent approval as required by the constitution.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLDRD) has slated December 10, 2019, for the referendum to determine whether MMDCEs should be elected or not in the country.
The referendum, which would be held alongside the district assembly elections, would seek to amend Articles 55(3) and 243(1) of the 1992 constitution, which prevents political parties from participating in district level elections, including the elections of MMDCEs, and the powers of the President to appoint MMDCEs respectively.
The minister made a call in a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, at the 20th Biennial Delegate Conference of members of NALAG at Sunyani in the Bono Region on Friday.
The conference on the theme: “Ghana Beyond Aid: A Paradigm Shift for Sustainable Development, the role of Local Authorities”, among other things witnessed the election of national executives of NALAG, to steer the affairs of the association for the next two years.
The conference at the plenary session also deliberated on the role of the assemblies in attaining the sustainable development goals as well as the mobilization of resources and enhancement of internally generated fund.
Hajia Mahama said the realization of the President’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid “ required a deliberate, qualitative change in the structure of the economy, infrastructure, education and acquisition of skills.
She said the MLDRD had made various policy interventions and laid the foundation to support Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to improve their capacities to generate revenue internally towards the realization of the Ghana Beyond Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This she said included reviewing and issuing fee-fixing guidelines to guide MMDAs in their revenue mobilization efforts among others.
The Head of the Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, in a speech read on his behalf, called on members of NALAG to collaborate with technocrats to rebrand the assemblies.
This he said would inspire public confidence as well as provide the right leadership to make assemblies innovative and proactive, especially regarding the generation of local revenue to support the execution of the development mandates of the assemblies.
The Bono Regional Minister, Mrs Evelyn Ama Kumi Richardson, noted that NALAG over the past 42 years had provided a potent platform for actors in the local governance, to deliberate and share experiences on local government and decentralization efforts of the country.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, SUNYANI