The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has reiterated his pledge to pay assembly members when he is elected as the next president in the December elections.
Mr Mahama says the endless duties of assembly members, particularly as the first point of contact in most communities, require that they are financially supported to enable them perform those tasks.
Speaking at a meeting with the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOSAG) in Accra on Thursday, Mr Mahama allayed the fears of sceptics, saying it is possible to remunerate assembly members by cutting down the size of centralized government, reducing the number of ministers and the privileges they enjoy and channeling those resources to assembly members.
He observed that the progress made in decentralisation has been rolled back in the last three and half years, following the government’s bastardisation of both the civil service and local government service.
He said the government has assisted in the hijacking of the work of the civil and local government service by political assistants, adding that recruitment and promotion is no longer based on merit as a result of interference from government.
Mr Mahama said he is committed to the local government process, adding “it is only through decentralisation that we can see true progress in the country”.