The Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has called on Ghanaians to actively participate in the governance of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by supporting the administration with relevant feedback on its programmes and policies.
He said as a people-centred government, citizens’ input was very critical to the success of the various interventions such as the Free Senior High School Policy, Planting for Food and Jobs, as well as the recently introduced Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), which were aimed at improving the lot of Ghanaians.
Dr Abdul-Hamid made the call at Dzodze in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region last Monday at the national launch of the 2018 town hall meetings.
The programme instituted by the Ministry of Information, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, will be organised with the Information Services Department, in conjunction with the local assemblies.
Town hall encounters
According to the minister, the government, through the town hall encounters, would open itself up to the scrutiny of citizens in order to solicit the relevant feedbacks to fine-tune the implementation of the various intervention programmes.
"The New Patriotic Party as a government, prides itself in the tenets of transparency and accountability; that is why we are bringing government to your doorsteps for scrutiny and to tell us whether or not the various social interventions are impacting your communities,” he stated.
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He disclosed that a total of 132 town hall meetings were held last year, with a minimum of 152 scheduled for 2018 across Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). He, therefore, called on Ghanaians to patronise the meetings to gain a better understanding of the flagship programmes of the government and also hold duty-bearers to task regarding the development of their areas.
Social accountability tool
A Deputy Local Government Minister, Mr Kwesi Adjei Boateng, in an address on behalf of the sector minister, urged the MMDAs to use the town hall engagements as a social accountability tool to deepen stakeholders’ participation in the local governance system.
He also entreated stakeholders to actively participate in the ongoing consultations for the amendment of the relevant constitutional provisions to allow for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on partisan basis in line with the vision of the President to further deepen the decentralisation process.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, for his part, said the administration of President Akufo-Addo had made tremendous strides in the socio-economic development of the country in the last 15 months, which must be propagated to the populace.
He added that the rollout of the government’s flagship intervention programmes was an attestation of the government’s commitment to the well-being of the ordinary Ghanaian; which deserved the support of every citizen.
Other government functionaries who were present at the launch included the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, the Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Perry Okudzeto, and the Ketu North Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Anthony Avorgbedor, who all took turns to explain the various government initiatives to the people.