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Double efforts at mobilising resources for development

Author: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Mr Ishmael Ashitey — Greater Accra Regional Minister
Mr Ishmael Ashitey — Greater Accra Regional Minister

Assembly members have been called upon to double their efforts at mobilising resources at the local level to complement government’s endeavour to fast-track national development.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, who made the call, said state resources were scarce, hence the urgent need for assembly members to be creative in effective mobilisation, exploitation and utilisation of available human, financial and material resources in the local environment.

“While mobilising resources, you must be directly accountable to the people whom you represent at the assembly; the destiny of our nation lies in the collective hands of all of us,” he stated.

At a one-day orientation programme for 130 appointed assembly members in the Greater Accra Region yesterday, Mr Ashitey said, “Our people are looking up to us to provide and implement policies necessary for poverty alleviation and wealth creation.”

The event sought to build the capacity of the participants to increase their knowledge of local governance framework, legislation, policies and regulations, as well as help them to discharge their roles and responsibilities effectively.

It was jointly organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS). 

Complement govt’s effort

Mr Ashitey said though the government was committed to ensuring consistent disbursement of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to the various assemblies assemblies, members were also required to initiate steps to mobilise internally generated funds to complement the government’s efforts.

He said the Constitution provided that as far as practicable, the people in particular areas of local government should be afforded every opportunity to participate effectively in their own governance.

He said it was for that reason the people of Ghana, every four years, regularly exercised the right to elect their own representatives to serve their interests and to spearhead their local development agenda.

Measure up to task

Mr Ashitey expressed optimistism that the orientation programme would build the capacity of the appointees to function effectively in their new office and place them in a better position to appreciate the work expected from them.

“This will help reduce, if not eliminate totally, the unnecessary tension and conflict between assembly members and the assemblies and presiding members, which retard development and progress of districts.

“We ought to avoid these pitfalls by ensuring that our roles and responsibilities are discharged in accordance with the laws and regulations governing the operations of the assembly,” he added.

Mr Ashitey urged the participants to take advantage of the orientation programme to prepare themselves for the task ahead.

“You do not have much time on your hands and it is expected that when you have gone through this orientation, you would measure up to the task ahead of you,” he emphasised.

On her part, a Senior Assistant Registrar in charge of Academic Affairs and Quality Assurance of the ILGS, Mrs Sethina A. Danquah, urged the new assembly members to engage private sector, non-governmental organisations and well-endowed individuals to support the assemblies in their development agenda.

“As an assembly member, you cannot go and sit at the assembly and always expect the government to come with the DACF; you also need to help mobilise internally generated funds to develop your communities,” she said.