Out of 43 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the Ashanti Region, invited for the second meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) yesterday, only 15 of them were present.
Importantly, the MMDCEs were to attend the meeting with their Presiding Members, but some failed to attend.
Though the meeting time was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am prompt, it took off, at about 10.45am with only 15 of the MMDCEs present, at the Prempeh Assembly Hall.
A visibly unhappy Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, threatened to deal with the MMDCEs who failed to attend the meeting.
“With the exception of some four of the MMDCEs who are exempted, I am going to query anyone who did not attend the meeting;
“Even Heads of Departments have reported, but the MMDCEs who should take the RCC’s duties seriously are not here, they would be queried,” he cautioned.
Present at the meeting included the occupant of the silver stool of Asanteman, Daasebre Osei Bonsu, Asante Mampong Paramount Chief.
Among others, the meeting was presented with audit infractions of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and finances of the assemblies.
Thereafter, 10 more new members were sworn-in by the Ashanti Regional Supervising High Court Judge, Justice Kofi Akrowiah.
When the meeting tackled the financial performance and compliance, the Ashanti Regional Minister expressed his dissatisfaction about the performance of most assemblies, stressing that they failed woefully to effectively exploit the resource potentials of their areas for the benefit of their people
According to the Minister, analysis of the 2022 internally generated revenue as at the end of October, indicated that the assemblies collected an amount of GH¢ 63,432,820.18 out of a budgeted figure of GH¢ 94,558,200.85 making 67 per cent.
He noted that it was very unfortunate that MMDAs failed to submit their monthly financial statements to the RCC, and said that 11 assemblies were yet to submit their financial statements for September.
Linked to the poor financial performance of the assemblies, Mr Osei Mensah said their failure or inability to ensure compliance in their financial management was the reason they were constantly cited by auditors for infractions.
The Minister told them that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development would not “hesitate to make recommendations for the application of appropriate sanctions against chief executives who do not take interest in the financial performance and compliance of their assemblies”.
“You need to work hard to address the number of audit violations that often culminate in appearances before the Public Accounts Committee, an unpleasant situation that has the potential of denting the image of most assemblies,” he said.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI