The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) has appealed to the government to extend its stimulus package to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) since the internally generated revenues of the assemblies have dwindled amidst the increase in expenditure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It noted that the government should also consider extra funding for MMDAs to enable them to render other social services to the local assemblies and suggested to the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Information Services Department (ISD) to intensify their education and sensitisation in the local communities.
The association also emphasized the need for assembly members and unit committee members to liaise with traditional authorities, security and health personnel to deal with non-compliance to the protocols.
Bismark Nkum, President of NALAG, made the call at a press briefing in Accra held to highlight NALAG leadership nationwide’s engagement with presiding members and selected assembly members from the 260 MMDAs on COVID-19.
The association after touring the country identified some key issues which they asserted were hampering the fight against COVID-19 at the local level which included inability of Public Health Emergency Teams to liaise with assembly members in various communities in order to have easy engagement with communities to enhance inclusivity and promote comprehensive front for fight against pandemic.
Mr Nkum said Ghana Health Service staff should work hand in hand with assembly members when they want to enter a community to educate and sensitise or contact trace suspected cases to ensure unfortunate incidents of suspected persons refusing to cooperate was reduced.
“Religious organisations should equally use their various platforms to educate and sensitise their members on the pandemic, adhere to enhanced personal hygiene, social distancing protocols while washing their hands under running water, using alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
“MMDAs should now think of possibility of having virtual meetings where usual physical location meetings may not be possible for reasons of COVID-19, it is our hope in future, our laws will consider such virtual meetings as legal.
“We should also think about digitising our services to enable clients access same from remote location to reduce the usual human interface. A digitised and a mobile enabler platform can be used for revenue collection, building permit processing and a host of others,” Mr Nkum advised. -GNA