Local Govt head enjoins staff to be professional

BY: Kobby Asmah
Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of Local Government Service
Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of Local Government Service

The Head of Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, has within 17 months in office paid working visits to more than 100 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across the country with a call on them to be professional and eschew lateness to work.

The working visits are to afford the Head of Service and a team from the Office of the Head of Local Government Service (OHLGS) the opportunity to touch base, share the vision of the service as well as work to ensure effective oversight.

Briefing the Daily Graphic on the outcome of the visits which have already seen the head of Service and his team organise workshops in all the 10 regional capitals, he said the team was now focusing on the district assemblies.

According to Dr Arthur, there was a very high expectation of Ghanaians in terms of improved standards of living.

To match up this expectation, the Head of Service underscored the need for the service to regularly interact with staff of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the 11 District Assemblies throughout the country.

The last of such visits was in the Upper West Region, where Dr Arthur disclosed that the sequence of the visits were to Sissala East Municipal, Sissala West and Lambussie District Assemblies. The others were Nandom, Lawra, Jirapa, and Wa East, Daffiama Bussie Issa, Nadwoli, and Wa West districts as well as the Wa Municipal assembly.

He said that the working visits were kicked-off with a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Alhassan Sulemana, and his deputy, Amidu Isshaku Chinia, at the RCC.

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He said the tour formed part of a strategy to better position the service to achieve its mandate of a “world class decentralised and client oriented service.”

Thematic areas

To achieve these goals, Dr Arthur said the service was  building the capacities of staff to improve revenue mobilisation and the use of IT.

Another goal of the service, he said, was to work to ensure that all the MMDAs delivered efficient services at the same speed and at premium quality.

Additionally, he said the service was also encouraging the sharing of best practices among the various  MMDAs, saying, for instance, “how can the worst 20 MMDAs learn from the best 20 MMDAs in terms of internally generated funds and sanitation.”

He was very much concerned about the need for all the MMDAs to work so hard for effective sanitation management.

“It looks as if the assemblies have relinquished their primary responsibility of working towards a clean assembly to Zoomlion which is an outsourced company,” he stated apologetically.

He said some of the outlined strategies and measures initiated by the service was for the realisation of the goals of the various assemblies, including achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in the area of sanitation across the region.

He said as part of the strategies, the service had also asked all the MMDAs to fix a clock -in -system as part of their performance contract.

District League Table

Dr Arthur pointed out that the service was monitoring and evaluating the performances of all the MMDAs, culminating in the development of the District League Table (DLT), which is geared towards the efficient management and administration of decentralised administration.

He, therefore, called for collaboration and team work to achieve the mandate of the service.

He said localising development was the greatest way to foster people’s development hence a professional conference would be organised in September 2018 to deliberate on how to deepen the relevance and importance of local governance in the country.