Don’t rob citizens; transform your assemblies with innovation - Dr. Oduro Osae advises MMDAs
Local Governance Expert, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae has advised members of newly created district assemblies in the Greater Accra Region to embrace innovation in their operations to enhance the decentralization agenda of the government.
According to Dr. Oduro Osae, being innovative will ensure transparency and accountability and also place the new assemblies ahead of their forerunners.
Addressing members of the newly created district assemblies at a workshop organised by the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) in Accra Friday, Dr. Oduro Osae further urged the assemblies to “secure their boundaries” to make their presence strongly felt and be strategically positioned for development.
He emphasised that each of the assemblies need to protect properties allocated to them, particularly their lands, by erecting signposts with the name of the district inscribed on them.
"The district assemblies must also create websites, formulate their visions and missions and produce newsletters to announce their presence for revenue mobilization purposes", Dr. Oduro recommended.
“We’re advising Assembly Members to look for their Legislative Instrument (LI). The LI will help you identify the real name of the assembly and where the principal offices of the assembly should be sited... In Ghana every institution is governed by law, therefore, if you’re an assembly member you must know your LI because it clearly outlines your functions. The constitution is there for every assembly but each specific assembly has its own functions in the LI. If you’re an Assembly Member and you don’t have a copy of the LI, then you’re fake,” he stressed.
The assemblies have also been asked to use social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to publicise their projects and consider engaging the services of recognised advertising agencies for their big events.
These, Dr. Oduro Osae believes if adopted by the assemblies, will fast-track the development of the districts and promote democracy.
He insists, every assembly is economically viable and, therefore, asked the leaders to join forces with their technical officers to draw up revenue mobilization strategies to secure funds for social intervention projects in their communities.
The Local Governance expert further warned the district assemblies against corruption and malfeasance saying, “We’re also urging them to ensure the money doesn’t end up in an individual’s pocket. The revenue should be used for development projects for citizens to benefit from their contributions and be motivated to continue supporting.”
About the CLGA workshop for MMDAs
The capacity building workshop for Assembly Members of newly created MMDAs in the Greater Accra Region was organised by the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) in collaboration with the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralization (IMCCod).
Briefing the media in an interview, the Communication and Advocacy Officer for CLGA, Nana Nyarko Owusu said the workshop was significant as it will prepare the Assembly Members to offer the needed leadership and development requirement of the newly created district.
He stressed that the recent creation of new districts come along with new demarcation of boundaries, changes in Assembly composition and corporate status, formation and constitution of sub-committees, budget and asset disaggregation among others, thus the need to empower the Assembly Members for the up to the task.
“We want them to carve a new niche for themselves so they don’t repeat the mistakes of the old assemblies. This will make their assemblies grow at a rate that will make everyone happy. We have about five districts here,” he maintained.
According to him, the CLGA has embarked on same exercise in the Ashanti and hopes to extend it to the other regions in the country next year.
He said, the CLGA is committed to organising several training programmes in 2019, not only for the district assemblies but others including the MMDCEs and technocrats within the assemblies to enable them deliver so as to drive development at the district level and the nation at large.
The assemblies are; Okaikwei North Municipal, Ablekuma North, Ablekuma West, Ayawaso East, Ayawaso West, Ayawaso North, Ga North, Weija Gbawe, Tema West and Krowor Municipal Assembly.