The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tema West, Mr Kingsley Carlos Ahenkorah, has called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to establish a functional transitional team to manage a smooth transition and asset sharing following the creation of the Tema West Municipal Assembly (TWMA) out of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA).
The TWMA, which was inaugurated in February this year, was carved out of the TMA, however, issues as to which assets should go to the new municipality have engendered a lingering debate between the two assemblies.
Addressing the general assembly meeting of the TWMA on Friday, November 16, 2018, Mr Ahenkorah, a deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, who was instrumental in the creation of the new municipality, bemoaned the situation and appealed to the MLGRD to ensure that a functional transition team was instituted to prevent a clash between the two assemblies over who owns what.
“Coming into office, I expect that at least we will form some vibrant strong committee so we see how we can reconcile assets and belongings of this baby assembly and strategise on the way forward. I have made some incursions with the Ministry of Local Government and spoken to the minister and deputy ministers on the need to form a transition team to discuss with TMA what rightfully belongs to us, we can’t start from zero”. It stands to reason that somebody must say that ok, if you are moving out you start with these assets but that has not happened,” he said.
He, therefore, charged assembly members to come out with a resolution strongly insisting on the formation of a transitional team to enable TWMA to collect what belonged to it.
The Deputy Minister also noted that there were certain buffer zones within the Tema area which could not be claimed exclusively by one particular assembly.
He said areas such as the Port and the Free Zones enclave constituted a buffer zone hence the transitional team should discuss modalities for taking revenue from businesses in those areas and how to share same to support development projects.
Mr Ahenkorah, citing an example, said officials from TMA went and locked a factory in the Tema West Constituency with the excuse that the company had already paid its rates to the TWMA. That, he said, should not have happened hence the more reason why the MLGRD had to intervene through a transition team.
Sister city cooperation
The MP said he had initiated talks with a city in Turkey for a sister city cooperation to help both sides share ideas on development and other areas of cooperation.
He urged the assembly to embrace the opportunity to market the Tema West Municipal Assembly in order to attract the needed investment.
He commended the assembly members for their commitment towards the work of the assembly and appealed to them, in the spirit of teamwork, to endeavour to enhance the development objectives of the new assembly.
Mr Ahenkorah urged the assembly members to bury their differences and work with him to advance the development of the new municipality.
“Let no one think that I harbour anything in my heart or mind because what is past is past. We used to be an assembly together with TMA, today, we are on our own. No matter how small we are, we don’t have a choice than to make it work. So we cannot go back and dwell on the past. We have to foster unity and move forward as much as we can.”
He bemoaned the absence of decent dining halls in some public schools and revealed that he had initiated a project to construct a kitchen and dining hall for pupils in all public schools in the municipality to support the school feeding programme.
Mr Ahenkorah said the project had started with five schools, namely the Sakumono TMA Basic School, Aggrey Road, Baatsonaa, Old Lashibi and Tema Community Five number three basic schools, to halt the situation where pupils had their meals in an unhygienic environment.
The Assembly Member for Sakumono Estates, Dr Richard Fiadumor, appealed to the MP to intervene in the wanton sale of public lands earmarked for the E-Block Community Day Senior High School to private individuals by some officials of the TMA.
He said another major cause of concern was the alleged sale of the Children’s Park facility, near the Tema Senior High School, to a private individual and called on the MP to add his voice to halt the practice
The Tema West Municipal Chief Executive, Mrs Adjoa Amoako, who was scheduled to deliver her maiden sessional address had to defer her address due to concerns raised by some assembly members that key stakeholders such as traditional rulers, heads of businesses and corporate institutions in the municipality, among others, were absent from the meeting.