General News of Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Koforidua June 15 GNA - Government would support the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies with vehicles, motorbikes and other logistics to enhance the mobility of Assembly staff and the Assembly Members. Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, who announced this, said: 93I can confirm that in the next fe= w weeks, my Ministry will distribute these vehicles and motor cycles to all the Assemblies".
He was speaking at this year's Conference of Chief Executives of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies from the Southern Zone of the country, in Koforidua on Wednesday.
The meeting aimed at giving participants the opportunity to take stock of their activities as Local Government administrators, consolidate and sustain the progress made so far and review strategies for addressing challenges. The Minister expressed worry about the lackadaisical attitude put up b= y some Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies (MMDAs), in local revenue collection.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo reminded the MMDAs that the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) could not take care of all their needs, especially given the wide range of competing programmes they were expected to implement. He said: 93Your role as Metropolitan, Municipal, District Chief Executives is therefore crucial in putting premium on local revenue generation to supplement DACF and the District Development Fund so as to implement more projects for the benefit of our people". The Minister wondered why MMDAs were not focusing on the collection o= f property rate, and said some of them were sitting on 93Goldmine" but wer= e not collecting property rate in affluent areas where property owners could pay rates.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said recognizing the importance of the decentralizatio= n program; the government had demonstrated its commitment towards the local governance system by securing resources to build the capacity of all MMDAs in the country.
He said: 93The Local Government Capacity Support Project is a US$175.= 0 million Government of Ghana-World Bank initiative, targeting the existing 4= 6 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies and it is expected to be implemented over a five-year period. The Project Launch takes place in August, 2011. He indicated that the government had worked hard to stabilize the economy and initiated sound structures and systems and that in local governance, efforts had been made to quicken the pace of decentralization. Mr Ofosu-Ampofo asked MMDAs to take waste management seriously and educate the people on the need for good waste management and sanitation practices.
The conference would offer the Chief Executives the opportunity to update the knowledge on Legal and policy framework, the national industrial policy and the industrial policy and the industrial sector support Programme.
It would also consider the opportunities and implications of initiatives in the Energy, Tourism, Housing, Water and Sanitation, Agricultural Communications sectors for local economic development. The Chief Executives would be briefed on the Ghana School Feeding Programme, the National Policy Framework on Climatic Change and the Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme.