Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, has charged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the region to intensify their development efforts to expedite the transformation agenda of the region.
She said the performance of the MMDAs per the 2021 Performance Contract Assessment was “not impressive” and, therefore, needed to work assiduously to reverse the trend if the region were to develop meaningfully.
“Our best assembly was 64th during the league table. We had many districts among the 20 nonperforming assemblies. To be candid, our performance was not good enough,” she chastised.
The Minister was addressing the last meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for the year 2022 in Cape Coast.
The meeting took stock of the years 2021 and 2022 and charted a new course for 2023 and beyond.
The Minister observed that the region defied all odds to successfully host major national and regional events including the Independence Day celebration, National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) and the Central Expo 2022 which saw more than 400 exhibitors participating.
She credited all stakeholders, particularly, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) for contributing to the success of the events.
On security, she noted that the region was generally calm and peaceful but had a few of blemishes including the alleged ritual killing at Mankessim and some chieftaincy conflicts which she begged the Regional House of Chiefs to help resolve.
In the area of agriculture, she indicated, among other things, that the quest to make the region a rice production hub was on course and thanked the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), sponsors of the rice project, for their support.
She, therefore, urged all MMDCEs and Presiding Members to secure lands for rice production to help feed the people.
Mrs Assan, however, expressed disquiet over the poor sanitation situation in the region, citing the negative impact on tourism and other economic potential.
To improve the situation, she directed the assemblies to institute practical sanitation policies such as sanitation days and also support the Environmental Health Departments to deliver on their mandate.
The Minister further admonished the MMDCEs to step up their supervisory role to ensure no field of development was left behind, adding that the RCC would intensify its monitoring exercise.
She also called for a deepened collaboration between the MMDAs and the RCC to advance the region’s transformation agenda.
“It is important for us to work together because, any house that is divided against itself, cannot stand. This is our region and collectively if we want to transform it, then, it means we must put our collective shoulders to the wheel,” she said.
The Minister announced that the region’s development strategy was on course and would be launched in the first quarter of 2023.
She said even though the strategy was partially in motion already, they would engage more stakeholders including Members of Parliament, political parties and academia to enrich the plan.
Rev Ransford Kwesi Nyarko, District Chief Executive for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, called for the active involvement of all stakeholders, including traditional authorities and churches in the various areas of development instead of playing the blame game for the challenges.
Odeefo Amoakwa Buadu VII, the President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs pledged the commitment of traditional rulers to continue to support the RCC and MMDAs to deliver development.
He pledged the House of Chiefs’ resolve to speedily and amicably deal with disputes on their table.