Politics of Friday, 6 July 2012
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development at the weekend urged members of the National Association of Local Government Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) to adhere to good governance practices that goes with accountability and transparency.
Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo asked members of the Association to also stick to their core role of advocacy and lobbying for members, and resort to their time-tested tools of quiet diplomacy.
The sector Minister gave the advice in Accra when he inaugurated 50 sub-committees of NALAG, spanning gender, development, international relations and policy analysis.
He noted that NALAG is not carved out as a pressure group so members should lean towards their “gentle acts of persuasion” and remember that people voted for them to steer the affairs of the Association.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo reminded the members that people are looking up to them since a lot is expected from them. “You should be able to address their concerns and champion their course,” he stressed.
Mr. Ebenezer Akuaku Frimpong, President of NALAG observed that the district assemblies formed by the Kufuor Administration from 2003-2008, were not given seed money to facilitate their core mandate to effect public goods and services and asked the Mills Government to reverse the anomaly.
He said most Presiding Members (PMs) of the assemblies were complaining that they had been marginalised by their assemblies and had only become “cosmetic” leaders who presided over meetings.
Mr. Frimpong who is also the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sekyere Central in the Ashanti Region, called for greater recognition of the PMs.
He asked the assemblies to embark on gender planning, gender budgeting; by embarking on projects such as the siting of amenities such as toilet facilities that are gender sensitive.
The DCE called on central government to complete the NALAG office complex in Accra and the payment of ex-gratia to members of the assembly through the consolidated fund to ensure fairness.
“Assembly members are calling for salaries and not allowances,” he said.
NALAG is an umbrella organisation of all local government authorities in Ghana including the district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies.**