The Greater Accra Regional Minister has asked Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies (MMDAs) to resource Sub-Metro, Zonal, Town and Area Councils for them to effectively assist the Assemblies in their developmental agenda.
Mr. Ishmael Ashitey said this on Tuesday during the swearing in of Council Members and inauguration of the Tema East and West Sub-Metropolitan Councils at Tema Newtown and Baastona, respectively.
“The Sub-Metro concept has not been functional as expected, and this calls for a serious concern in order to address the challenges accounting for this lapse,” he informed.
Mr. Ashitey observed that the ceremony was necessary as a means of bringing governance to the door step of the people by focusing on effective and efficient decentralization through greater grass root participation, better planning, and improved service delivery in the local communities.
He said, “The inauguration and operationalization of the Sub-Metro, and for that matter Town and Area Councils, form a critical part of Ghana’s governance structure as they bring democracy to the doorstep of the local community.”
Mr. Ashitey observed the need to give some of the revenue items and their collection responsibilities to the sub-structures “so that after collection, they will retain a percentage of the revenue as mandated by law for effective running of their offices and other mandatory responsibilities whilst remaining accountable to the assemblies.”
He asked the Sub-Metro members to give of their best, and coordinate with the Assembly to work in line with the standing orders of the Sub-Metro Council and the Assembly as well as other legislative instruments in the conduct of their business.
Mr. Felix Mensah Nii Annan-La, Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema, said it was a great occasion because it marked a milestone in the history of the decentralization process and local governance system of the Metropolis.
He said, according to the new Local Government Act, Act 936, 2016, the Council Members were to keep records of all datable persons and properties in the Sub-Metro, assist any person authorized by the Assembly to collect revenue, organize communal labor and voluntary works, educate people in their rights, privileges and responsibilities, and assist the Council to provide focal point for discussion on local matters and make recommendations to the assembly.
He added that they were to “recommend to the Assembly the naming of streets within their localities and numbering of buildings, plant trees, control and prevent fire outbreaks, assist the Council to prepare its annual budgets for approval by the Assembly, monitor the implementation of developmental projects, and make proposals to the assembly regarding levies and collection of rates for projects and programs.”
Mr. Annan-La pledged his support to the Council in ensuring that their functions were achieved, and asked the Council to make consultations with other stakeholders where necessary “given the need to build a stable and all inclusive government in deepening local governance systems.”