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General News of Monday, 2 January 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Former Mayor wants autonomous MMDAs; demands apolitical appointments

Former Mayor of Accra is urging President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo to appoint a Mayor who can deal with the growing population challenges facing Ghana’s capital, Accra.

Nat Nunoo Amarteifio who has been speaking exclusively to JOYNEWS says the practice where politicians were appointed to head Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies must end in order to empower the assemblies to be autonomous.

The city is currently faced with sanitation, accommodation and other challenges due to the population growth, the former Mayor acknowledged.

"The City has grown so far out that as much we have worked to create infrastructure for traffic the city is getting more and more choked," Mr Amarteifio noted.

He tasked the incoming overseer of the capital to find a way to lessen the density of traffic circulation.

Balancing the "big problems" of the capital city, he believes the qualification of the Mayor is important because that will inform the solutions proffered to the challenges.

"Sometimes politicians are nominated and they focus very much on political issues. Very occasionally, very technical people; architects and engineers are nominated to the office and their focus goes to the infrastructure," he observed.

He believes ideally what Accra needs is someone who is comfortable with talking to engineers, reading and executing their plans.

According to Mr Amarteifio, the new Mayor should also sit down with the bankers and the politicians since Accra is growing to a point where it can no longer subsist on the monies handed to it by government.

To do what it wants, he said the city must find ways of generating a substantial amount of money to enable it to do the things that are necessary.

The former Mayor who once said Ghanaians must bear the 'unpleasant' situation of authorities driving hawkers off the streets to maintain discipline in urban centres, said government must find ways of creating housing to solve the housing problem.

He tasked the incoming Mayor to find a way to solve this problem to ensure sanity in the central business districts.