Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President, has charged the leadership and members of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure accelerated development at the local level of governance.
According to him, applying a mix of innovation, dialogue, and collaboration with all the relevant state and non-state actors would speed up the development process.
He said it was important that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), mandated by law to lead the development at the local level, did so with a sense of urgency.
Addressing participants at the 21st Biennial National Delegates Conference of NALAG in Kumasi, the Vice President urged all stakeholders to approach their mandates with renewed vigour, especially in the wake of the repercussions of Covid-19 and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
It was on the theme “Building the future together; the role of local authorities.”
The conference, which brought together all stakeholders in the local governance system, aimed to brainstorm on ways to discharge their duties as mandated by the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462), and elect new leaders.
“It cannot be over-emphasized that for us to bounce back together, a great responsibility lies with our Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies maximizing the development agenda at the local level,” he said.
According to Dr. Bawumia, decentralization and local government administration were the fulcrum around which democracy and citizens’ participation were given expression at the grassroots.
It was therefore imperative to indicate that MMDAs were not for political participation, but agents for national economic development, he said.
Dr. Bawumia explained that in recognition of the crucial role played by local authorities, the government had through the Decentralization policy framework, included Local Economic Development (LED) as one of the five key pillars of the policy underpinning the National Decentralization policy and strategy.
He assured NALAG that the government was committed to expanding the infrastructure at the institute of local government studies to build capacities in all aspects of the MMDAs and is currently constructing a local government university at Akomadan in Offinso.
This, he said, was to move the MMDAs away from provision of essential services to becoming agents for development by harnessing all the natural, material, and human resources within their authority to bring the needed development in the country.
Mr. Bismark Baissie, the NALAG President, appealed for the amendment of Article 244, to give a four-year term to presiding members instead of the current two years.
He said the local authorities in the country collectively support the introduction of the electronic transaction levy (E-levy) as it would increase the revenue for national development.