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Make structures of decentralisation functional-Ankomah
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Politics of Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Source: GNA

Make structures of decentralisation functional-Ankomah

Cape Coast, Oct 31, GNA- Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of Education Sports and Science, on Monday said the building of great district assemblies would depend on the effective use of the lower structures such as unit committees and area councils.

He said such structures play an important role in the progress and success of the decentralization process and stressed the need for them to be made functional and effective.

Mr Ankomah said this when he inaugurated the Cape Coast and Elmina districts assemblies at separate ceremonies. The Cape Coast Supervising High Court Judge, Nana Justice Gyamerah Tawiah swore into office the 62-member assembly, including 11 government appointees and seven women.

Papa Ankomah said the time has come for assembly members to ensure that their electoral areas have a feel of local governance and tasked them not to seek their personal interest against that of the public. "When the assembly is served by dedicated and committed individuals who make it their duty to demand accountability of themselves and the management, the credibility of the assembly would be assured in respect of its level of productivity and output".

He warned the members against using their positions to gain contracts and undue favours from the assembly, stressing that such acts would amount to committing a serious offence of conflict of interest and would be liable to sanction.

The Minister said for the assembly to achieve its goals, there was the need for cooperation between the District Chief Executives (DCE's), Assembly Members and other members of the assembly in the discharge of their respective functions. He called on the DCE's to be diligent, accountable and responsive to their individual assemblies and the populace.

Mr Ankomah expressed concern about the over reliance on the District Assembly Common Fund, HPIC and GetFund for development projects and called on the assemblies to generate revenue from other sources to complement that of government.

Papa Ankomah announced that discussions were on-going with the Chief Justice to enhance justice delivery at the local level by the creation of special courts.

He reminded them of the National Youth Employment Placement Programme and urged them to facilitate its implementation to enhance not only accelerated growth of the economy but also bring prosperity to the people. Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhene of Oguaa traditional area, who presided over the function, challenged the assembly members to be responsive and proactive so as to drive the development of the assembly forward.

He lamented that the district was "sinking" and urged the members to endeavour to enact bye-laws that would ensure security and development in the district.

Mr Edwin Godwin Buckman, a teacher, who was elected the Presiding Member, thanked the members for the confidence reposed in him and asked for their support and cooperation to move the assembly forward. He urged them to help in mobilizing both human and financial resources for the development of the district.

At Elmina, Mr Anthony Tabiri Abebrese, District Magistrate Court judge, swore into office a 52-member assembly including 16 government appointees.

Mr Frank Appiah an accountant was elected the presiding member; he polled 45 votes to beat Mr. Jerry Hanson a teacher who had seven votes Mr George Frank Asmah, District Chief Executive, in his welcoming address commended the past assembly members for their dedication to duty and called on the new members to bring to bear their expertise to develop the district. He said there was still a lot to be done in the development of the district, especially in the areas of sanitation and revenue generation and urged them to be dedicated, committed and diligent in the discharge of their duties.

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