Government now closer to the people than ever – President Akufo-Addo

By Edward Williams

Hohoe (V/R), Feb. 12, GNA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has revealed that government is closer to the people than it had ever been in the history of the country.

He said the decentralisation reforms that started in 1988 with only 110 District Assemblies had made progress in several fronts.

President Akufo-Addo in an inaugural speech delivered on his behalf at Hohoe by Dr Eric Oduro Osae, noted that as the membership of the District Assembly was being constituted, it was envisaged that new ideas and opportunities would emerge to deepen the deliberative, legislative and executive functions of the District Assembly.

President Akufo-Addo said the Assembly Members had the mandate to deliberate, plan, mobilise resources and make decisions including by-laws to ensure the transformation of their District towards the Ghana all wanted.

He urged the Members to also establish strong partnerships and collaborate with the local structures particularly, the urban, town, zonal and area council, the unit committees and traditional authorities as well as other identifiable groups to facilitate the work of the Assembly.

“It is through these partnerships and collaborations that the ideals of local governance are optimised for the benefit of the people.”

He said the Assembly was being inaugurated at a time when efforts were being made by government through the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) to improve on the mobilisation of Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

President Akufo-Addo called on the Members to work closely with each other to create innovative ways of mobilising the needed resources for the development within their areas.

He said the government was keen on building the capacity of the Members to provide local leadership.

“We have retooled the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) with the state-of-the-art facilities and other training resources to enable them effectively provide the needed training for your competence enhancement.”

President Akufo-Addo noted that good governance entailed active participation of the citizenry in the development process.

He entreated the Assembly to create platforms including town hall meetings, community durbars and deploy other digitalized citizens’ engagement tools to enhance the relationship between duty bearers and the citizens.

President Akufo-Addo reminded the Members that their electorate required of them; selflessness, devotion to duty, a very accountable stewardship and ability to articulate the needs of the people to guide the district development agenda and, improve the quality of their livelihoods and wellbeing.

Mr Daniel Noble Awume, Hohoe Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), noted that since 1979 when Hohoe was carved as a District and evolved into a Municipality, a lot of work had been done to give true meaning to local governance, decentralization and rural development.

He said the role of the Members required that they commit their all to the growth and development of the citizenry of Hohoe.

Mr Awume assured that the Assembly would provide all the necessary logistics and support Members would need to deliver their mandate.

He called on them to work towards the Assembly’s vision of improving the living standards of the people in the Hohoe Municipality and Ghana large.

The 25 Members made up of 17 elected and eight government appointees were sworn-in by Mr John Evans Ocran, Hohoe Magistrate with the oaths of office, allegiance, and secrecy.

A total of 259 District Assemblies out of a total of 261 are being inaugurated nationwide because the tenure of the Nkoranza South Municipal and Nkoranza North District Assemblies are yet to end.