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Politics of Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Source: GNA

Gov't committed to empowering MMDAs - Minister

Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has reiterated Government’s commitment to support and empower Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

He therefore urged MMDAs to work hard and complement Government efforts to deliver on its mandate in order to support their activities and projects.

Mr Oppong-Fosu was addressing Assembly Members and Staff of the Ekumfi District Assembly in the Central Region.

The Minister, who is on a three-day working visit to the region, will tour the Ekumfi and Gomoa West Districts, Nfantseman Municipal and the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assemblies.

The visit is to acquaint himself with the activities of the assemblies and interact with assembly members and staff on issues pertaining to their work.

He urged the assemblies to change the perception that the development of the economy was the task of only the central government, noting that, it was also the responsibility of assemblies to invest in infrastructure and promote local development.

Mr Oppong-Fosu said community development was paramount to the growth of Ghana's economy, and that, public service officials must be committed and dedicated in order to develop their communities.

He also inspected a completed District Chief Executive (DCE) bungalow, a two unit two bedroom teachers bungalows and a rest stop project on the Cape Coast-Takoradi Highway, being undertaken by the assembly and funded through the Common Fund, District Development Fund and funds from the Central Regional Development Committee respectively.

Mr Ibrahim Kwaku Dawson, Ekumfi District Chief Executive (DCE) said the assembly has formulated a District Local Economic Development Strategic Action Plan to stimulate the growth of the district economy to create jobs and reduce poverty.

He said the plan will be integrated into the District Medium Term Development Action Plan from 2014 to 2017, and that, the intervention in the plan includes the construction of a Career Development and Skill Upgrading Center, to expose the youth to labour market issues for easy employment, prioritization of key economic sectors for investment, creation of land banks and the construction of a modern market.

Mr Dawson said the assembly, through innovative and strategic plans, was able to generate Ghc13,000 in 2012, Ghc80,000 in 2013, and meet its target of Ghc140, 000 this year.

Dr Callistus Mahama, Head of the Local Government Service, responding to concerns raised by staff of the assembly to withdraw some Metropolitan Assemblies from benefiting from the District Assembly Common Fund, said the criteria for accessing the Fund were yet to be looked at and the necessary amendments made.

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