The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr Dan Botwe, has stated that a decentralised system of local government based on the Constitution remains the vision and quest of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He said he had demonstrated his commitment to the “unfinished business” of decentralisation through the reorganisation of the ministry to meet his agenda, and that the ministry would work
“closely” with the Regional Coordinating Councils to “ensure the President’s vision is achieved.”
The minister said this when he met the leadership of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council and the Ho Municipal Assembly while on a working visit to the Volta Region, and shared with them the ministry’s plan to sink decentralisation to the deepest roots.
He said local governance would become more effective with deeper stakeholder participation if the assemblies led the efforts at sensitising the public and empowering them to undertake advocacy for development.
“Central Government would together ensure that we all follow the laws and make sure the assemblies get the people sensitised. Stakeholder participation is necessary and the President’s representatives in the local assemblies must deepen stakeholder engagement”, he said.
“Assemblies must create awareness on local level decentralisation and grassroots participation. It is important that as we lead the people we also educate them to understand the sets of relations that exist between us”, he added.
“We should seek their understanding and support to further our drive for development,” Mr Botwe said.
The minister noted that the Local Government Act provided for the public key stakeholder roles, and, therefore, encouraged all acquainted with its provisions to pursue active participation in the local governance process.
“It is important that all of us address ourselves to the functions that are under the Act. Government intends to make sure we all go by the Act,” he said.
Mr Botwe added that the government was keen on transforming the local governance structure, and had, therefore, opened a portal to provide the public with information as outlined in the passage of the Right to Information law.
“We give meaning to decentralisation when we do all these,” he stated.
The minister, during the visit, inspected ongoing projects being provided under the Secondary Cities Project from a $100 million grant from the World Bank for 25 top performing municipalities in the country.