Veep urges A-G to consider extending Assemblies’ mandate

VICE PRESIDENT AMISSAH ARTHURThe Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has urged the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to liaise with appropriate agencies to see how best the mandate of the current assembly members in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), can be extended.

The term for the current assembly members expires on March 14, 2015, which means that the various assemblies would be without representatives of the people until an election is held to elect new members.

He said the gap created by the non election of assembly members due to a Supreme Court decision, must be avoided in the interest of promoting the development of the respective MMDAs.

Mr. Amissah-Arthur said this at the opening of the Fourth Regional Ministers’ Conference of the Sixth Government of the Fourth Republic at Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) municipality of the Central Region yesterday.

The four-day conference being attended by all the Regional Ministers and Chief Directors is on the theme, “Working together with the district assemblies for national development”.

Participants are expected to deliberate on how to use the limited resources available in the country, to promote the nation’s development agenda.

They would also discuss ways in which each participant can offer the needed assistance to the other in prosecuting the government’s development agenda as well as how they can co-ordinate with their subordinate in executing the needed development programmes and policies.

Mr Amissah-Arthur further explained that the extension of the mandate of the current assembly members, had become so crucial that the country needs to re-strategise as to how best to manage the situation.

He said the state spent about GH¢310 million in an effort to organise the district level elections, and noted that the decision by the Supreme Court had really informed Ghanaians to be diligent in the way they plan things.

He said the adoption of diligence would inform Ghanaians on how to manage resources entrusted into their care judiciously.

The Vice President further urged the various MMDAs to re-prioritise the use of statutory funds for the needed transformation that the government was prosecuting, saying the resources must go into the needs of the people.

He admonished the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), to pay attention to how best they could decentralise education service delivery in their respective areas.

Mr Amissah-Arthur urged Regional Ministers and their deputies to collaborate with each other in moving the development of their regions forward, instead of creating tension within themselves which does not augur well for any effective administration.

He underscored the need for the ministers to delegate responsibility to their deputies, stressing the need for every Ghanaian to tolerate dissenting views.

He further urged subordinates including deputy ministers to show respect to their superiors in order to avoid some level of conflict.

The Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, in his opening remarks, commended all MMDCEs in the region for their commitment in executing the government’s development agenda.

The region, he said, continues to have its share of the government’s development programmes and cited the on-going construction of the Komenda Sugar Factory, Cape Coast Sports Stadium and the Kotokuraba Market.

He said the construction of various infrastructural projects across the region would contribute in reducing the poverty level in the region.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, in his remarks, explained that the conference was aimed at bringing governance to the doorstep of the people and urged participants to interact with traditional authorities on how to promote the development of their areas.

He urged them to critically examine issues that would affect their performance, and appealed to them to avoid incidents such as the one in the Ashanti Region that resulted in the sacking of the Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Sarpong and his deputy, Joseph Yammin.

The President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, Daasebere Kweku Ewusi VII, who was the chairman for the occasion, urged ministers and their deputies to ensure effective utilisation of resources that would be made available to them, in order to promote the needed economic growth.

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