The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Akatsi North, has advocated an improved welfare package for assembly members to better serve as development agents in their respective electoral areas.
Currently, he said, assembly members who constitute the fulcrum of the Assemblies were only offered motorbikes for mobility and no monthly salary but an allowance during assembly sittings.
Dr Sodoke Amuzu, the DCE, underscored relevance of Assemblies in enhancing probity, accountability, transparency, good governance and the rule of law at local level and it was about time the country started a conversation on their welfare issues to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
He noted that while considering election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), the nation must also be thinking about the welfare of Assembly Members because Members of Parliament and MMDCEs were paid monthly however, work of Assembly Members was difficult.
“Giving them monthly salary will help to better represent and serve the interest of local citizens at the Assembly and in a record of two years, we have two motorbikes for members considering there was similar distribution in June 2019 and timing for the distribution is better than before when they could be said to be ex-gratia payments.
“This is because they were given almost at end of the tenure but we will appeal distribution is done earlier to help them in their work however, some assembly members apart from the responsibilities the Local Government Act 2016 (Act 936) spells out for them to maintain close contact with electoral area and consulting electorates on issues to be discussed in the Assembly,” Dr Amuzu indicated.
Kwame Ahiabu, the Presiding Member for Akatsi North District Assembly, thanked the government and National Association of Local Authorities for the motorbikes, and appealed for procurement of jungle motorbikes to be considered in future for use by members in communities.
“We do not have an office, our office is within ourselves and without mobility, it becomes very difficult to work, the motorbikes thus, have come at a crucial time when we need it best, we promise to use them for the intended purpose, we appeal in future for more appropriate motorbikes for those of us in rural districts like Akatsi North, where roads are bad and vehicles do not ply, to enable us to reach our people,” he said. -GNA