Mr Dan Botwe, Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development has said a decentralised system of local government based on the Constitution remained the vision and quest of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.
He said the President had demonstrated his commitment to the “unfinished business” of decentralisation, through the reorganisation of the Ministry to meet his agenda, and that the Ministry would work “closely” with the Regional Coordinating Councils to “ensure the President’s vision is achieved.”
The Minister said this when he met leadership of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council and the Ho Municipal Assembly, while on a working visit to the Volta Region and shared with them the Ministry’s plan to sink decentralisation to the deepest roots.
He said local governance would become more effective with deeper stakeholder participation, and which required Assemblies to lead efforts at sensitising the public and empowering them to undertake advocacy for development.
“Central Government would together ensure that we all follow the laws and make sure the Assemblies get the people sensitised. Stakeholder participation is necessary and the President’s representatives in the local assemblies must deepen stakeholder engagement.
“Assemblies must create awareness on local level decentralisation and grassroots participation. It is important that as we lead the people, we also educate them to understand the sets of relations that exist between us.
“We should seek their understanding and support to further our drive for development,” Mr. Botwe said.
The Minister noted the Local Government Act provided for the public, key stakeholder roles and therefore encouraged all acquainted with its provisions to pursue active participation in the local governance process.
“It is important that all of us address ourselves with the functions that are under the Act. Government intends to make sure we all go by the Act,” he said,
Mr. Botwe added that the government’s keenness on transforming the local governance structure had opened up the constitutional portal to public information with the passage of the Right To Information Bill, which the people must utilise.
“We shall give meaning to decentralization if we do all these,” he stated.
The Minister, during the visit, inspected ongoing projects being provided under the Secondary Cities Project, USD 100 million grant from the World Bank for 25 top performing Municipalities in the country.