John Dramani Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama, the Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has reiterated his pledge to pay assembly members when he is elected as the next President in the December 7 elections.

Mr Mahama said the endless duties of assembly members, particularly as the first point of contact in most communities, require that they were financially supported to enable them perform those tasks.

A statement issued by Mr James Agyenim-Boateng, the Campaign Spokesperson of the NDC, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency, said the Mr Mahama reiterated this at a meeting with the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOSAG) in Accra.

Mr Mahama allayed the fears of sceptics, saying “it is possible to remunerate assembly members by cutting down the size of centralized government, reducing the number of ministers and the privileges they enjoy and channeling those resources to assembly members”.

He noted that the progress made in decentralisation had been rolled back in the last three and half years, following the government’s bastardisation of both the civil service and local government service.

He said the Government had assisted in the hijacking of the work of the civil and local government service by political assistants, adding that recruitment and promotion was no longer based on merit as a result of interference from government.

Mr Mahama said, he was committed to the local government process, stating “it is only through decentralisation that we can see true progress in the country”.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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