Mr Daniel Botwe, Minister of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, has said the Ministry was committed to championing the course of decentralized local government, with policy guidelines to enable Metropolitan, Municipal and District Executives (MMDCEs) function better.
He said the Ministry would continue to support the MMDCEs with policy guidelines and manuals to enable them to function effectively.
Mr Botwe said this at the official opening of a four-day orientation programme for newly approved MMDCEs in Accra.
The orientation on the theme: “Effective leadership for local economic transformation and improved service delivery in Ghana: the role of MMDCEs”, aimed at equipping the MMDCES with the requisite knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes for effective local leadership.
It is also to orient new MMDCEs on their roles, responsibilities and introduce them to government flagship programmes, provide a common platform for experience sharing and energize them to improve performance.
The sector Minister said, in the next four days, the MMDCEs capacity would be deepened in key areas, including the local government system in Ghana, improving communication skills, leadership and team-building and managing MMDCE-stakeholder relationships.
“They will also be taken through the corporate Financial Management Act and receive policy direction and guidance from Ministers of State on various government flagship programmes and projects,” he said.
Mr Botwe said the programme was in two phases; “general orientation today and tomorrow for all 250 confirmed MMDCEs, then on Thursday and Friday, the newly appointed MMDCEs will have some orientation again.”
He urged them to ensure that their new role triggered a better impact in the lives of all, saying this could be achieved by cooperating with all stakeholders in the discharge of the mandate of their office.
“The Ministry in collaboration with the Institute of Local Government Service, Head of Local Government Service will monitor, coordinate and ensure regular reporting in the performance of MMDCEs,” he added.
The Minister said the Ministry would also seek new engagements with other Ministries, developing partnerships with and the private sector to enhance resource mobilization and transfer to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
Mr Botwe assured that in the next few months more training and capacity building would be organized in the zones with various MMDAs, championed by the regional ministers in the zones.
Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Chairman Council of State, congratulated the MMDCEs for going through two rigorous interview sessions at the regional and the national levels and for finally being endorsed to perform the functions of MMDCEs.
He urged them not to be “armed chair” administrators but move from their comfort zones to their communities to work and interact with the people to have first-hand information on their concerns and problems.
“Remember you are the representative of the President at the local level, so strive to do your best for the people who put the President at his position. You are there to serve them, earn their respect, show them empathy, and affection and they would give you the support to achieve your mandate,” he said.
The Council of State Chairman advised the MMDCEs to avoid needless confrontations with traditional authorities, members of Parliament, opinion leaders and Assembly members.