President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for transparent and accountable leadership at the local level to propel development.
In that context, he has urged assembly members to work in close collaboration with metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) to deliver the leadership that will benefit the people.
At the inauguration of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) across the country yesterday, the President, in a goodwill message read on his behalf, said the people at the local level deserved nothing but leadership that would improve their standards of living and assembly members could not afford to fail in that regard.
The inauguration of the assemblies followed the dissolution of the previous assemblies on October 7, 2019, following the expiration of the tenure of assembly members and the subsequent election of new assembly members.
According to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, 6,272 assembly members were sworn into office to represent electoral areas at the various assemblies for a four-year tenure.
A release made available to the Daily Graphic said an additional 33,500 people who were elected as unit committee members were also sworn in.
Their inauguration was in line with Section (3) of the Local Governance Act 2016, Act 936.
The Minister of Local Government and Local Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, spearheaded the inauguration of the MMDAs, with other government functionaries supervising the event in all the 16 regions.
Emmanuel Bonney reports from Amanfrom that a Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr George Andah, inaugurated the Ga South Municipal Assembly (GSMA) and the unit committees on behalf of the President.
The President underscored the need for the MMDAs to take advantage of automation and other innovative systems by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to improve on their internally generated funds (IGFs).
That, he said, could be achieved if the street-naming and property-addressing project was pursued vigorously, working hand in hand with the National Digital Property Addressing System and the Ghana Post GPS.
"You are directed to work with the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission to have ratable properties in your jurisdictions valued to inform a more effective and transparent property rating," he said.
President Akufo-Addo urged the assembly members to devise special client-sensitive approaches to mobilise property rates, devoid of challenges to the rate payers.
Mr Abdul Wahab Mohamed was elected the Presiding Member of the assembly.
From Tamale, Samuel Duodu writes that the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development represented the President at the inauguration of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TaMA).
The assembly members, made up of 41 elected members and 18 government appointees, were sworn in by a Justice of the High Court, Mr Justice Osei Kwame Gyamfi.
The Assembly Member for Nakpazoo, Mr Mohammed Alhassan, was elected the Presiding Member of the TaMA
From Koforidua in the Eastern Region, George Folley reports that the 51-member New Juaben South Municipal Assembly was sworn in by a Circuit Court judge, Mrs Mercy Kotei.
One hundred and seventy unit committee members were also sworn into office.
The 49-member Sunyani Municipal Assembly was inaugurated by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, on behalf of the President, writes Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah.
In the President’s speech, read by the minister, he charged the assembly members to justify their election and appointment by working hard to build upon the achievements of their predecessors,
The assembly members, made up of 34 elected and 15 government appointees, were sworn into office by the Supervising High Court Judge of Sunyani, Mr Justice Patrick Baryeh.
The Member of Parliament for Sunyani, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, called on the assembly members to work as a team.
Vincent Amenuveve reports from Bongo that the 54-member New Bongo District Assembly was inaugurated by the Bongo District Court Judge, Mr Frederick Kaar.
The assembly members included 16 government appointees and 38 elected members.
The Bongo District Chief Executive, Mr Peter Ayinbisa, reminded them that “the assembly job is purely a sacrificial one”, and that it was not for any particular political party.
At the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Benjamin Xornam Glover reports that 31 assembly members, made up of 21 elected and 10 government appointees, were sworn in by the Tema Circuit Court Judge, Madam Bertha Anigyei.
At the Tema West Municipal Assembly, 17 assembly members, made up of 11 elected and six government appointees, were also sworn in by Mr Joseph Mac Ali, a magistrate.
The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Felix Nii Annang-La, charged the assembly members to bring on board new ideas and strategies to help the assembly generate adequate revenue to complement the efforts of the central government.
A representative of the Tema Traditional Council, Nii Shipi Armah Somponu, urged the members to be abreast of the Local Government Act and the standing orders of the assembly to guide them in their output.
From Maase-Boamang in the Afigya Kwabre North District in the Ashanti Region, Emmanuel Baah writes that 22 assembly members and 72 unit committee members were sworn in.
The Chief of Nkwantakese, Nana Boakye Yam Ababio, was elected the Presiding Member.
A Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, read the President’s speech.
The DCE, Mr Karikari Achamfour, charged the elected officers to devise strategic and innovative ways to help the assembly generate enough revenue in order to bring development to the area.
Meanwhile, Timothy Ngnenbe reports that the Head of the Office of Local Government Service (OLGS), Nana Dr Ato Arthur, has called for unity of purpose and transparency to promote national development.
He stressed the need for MMDCEs to show accountable leadership for the growth of their assemblies.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic ahead of the inauguration of the assemblies, Nana Arthur said: “The Local Government Service expects the MMDCEs to show leadership and commitment to the growth of their assemblies.”