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Promote participation, accountability - Minister urges MMDCEs

BY: Benjamin Xornam Glover
Dan Botwe, Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development
Dan Botwe, Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development

The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Mr Dan Botwe, has urged metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and their staff to deepen transparency, promote popular participation and accountability at the local level.

He said by bringing decision making closer to the people, residents of the various communities would know, see and feel the presence of the government they voted for and enable the government to deliver programmes and services that addressed local needs.

Mr Botwe gave the advice during a working visit to the Tema Metropolitan, Tema West and Ashaiman Municipal Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region last Monday, when he interacted with the chief executives, management and staff.

He was accompanied by Mr Denis Edward Aboagye, Director for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development at the office of the President, and Mr Seth Samuel Passah, Director in charge of Local Governance and Decentralisation.

Support

Mr Botwe urged all units and directorates operating within the Local Government set up to be involved in the activities and programmes of their respective assemblies to transform their localities in line with the President’s vision.

While pledging to collaborate with the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service to help build on the capabilities of staff of the assemblies, and provide resources and logistics to execute programmes and projects, he tasked the assemblies to explore alternative funding sources to support the delivery of public goods.

He emphasised the need for the assemblies to improve on revenue mobilisation internally to be able to finance community development instead of relying solely on the District Assemblies Common Fund DACF).

Public sensitisation

Mr Botwe tasked the MMDAs to regularly sensitise residents and engage them at all levels of decision making, stressing that it was crucial for fostering positive social change and creating the necessary buy-in for policies being implemented at the local level.

“When people are well informed, they will appreciate the need to pay their property rates and other levies to boost the internally generated fund (IGF) of the assemblies for developmental projects”, he said

Touching on monitoring and evaluation, Mr Botwe said the Ministry, in collaboration with the Institute of Local Government Service, had developed a computerised data-based system, the District Data Development Platform which is accessed by the ministries, department and agencies as well as the Regional Coordinating Councils, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to monitor, coordinate and track the performance of MMDCEs.

He said the DDDP provided real-time data for the assessment of the various districts across the country and tasked staff of the Management Information System Unit of the various assemblies to provide timely and relevant data of government’s development projects and programmes in their respective areas.

The MCE for Ashaiman, Mr Albert Boakye Okyere, and his counterpart in charge of Tema West Municipal Assembly, Ms Anna Adukwei Addo, welcomed the visit stressing that it had energised them to work hard to satisfy the aspirations of the people and promote popular participation at the local level.

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