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The newly created Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country are still not in operations after month of inauguration, Assembly members within the Accra Metropolitan Assembly have disclosed.
According to the assembly members, government’s failure or delay in appointing the thirty percent of assembly members as required by the Local Government Act 935, establishing the assemblies is affecting their work.
The over 45 assembly members within the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) expressed the concerns during a press conference in Accra on Tuesday.
The press conference was to raise concerns and draw the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and President Nana Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s Attention to the vacuum in the newly elevated municipals and districts assemblies.
Spokesperson for the Concerned Assembly Members, Razak Issah, who is the Assembly Member for the Akweteman Electoral Area, told Journalists at the press briefing that, the 38 municipal and district assemblies that were elevated and subsequently inaugurated on March 15, this year are yet to be fully constituted.
“Since the inauguration to date, the Assemblies are yet to have the full compliments of their membership in order to start sitting to take decision for implementation as required by Act 935 which establishes the assemblies, ” the concerns assembly members said.
They stated that as elected assembly members with four years mandates, they were much concern in the delay in making the new assemblies function to enable them carry out their constitutional responsibility which evolves bringing development closer to the electorates.
Mr Issah noted that, the impending rains with its associated floods and the poor sanitation conditions in their various communities, would further deepen as they do not know whom or where to turn for help as newly assemblies where most of them fall within are not functioning.
Among of all these, the concern assembly members called on President Nana Addo to as a matter of urgency fulfill his constitutional mandate of appointing the thirty percent of assembly members in consultation with the traditional authorities and stakeholders within the various newly created assemblies and as well nominate Chief Executives as the 1992 constitution stipulated.
They averred that, Article 242 of the Constitution stated that, “one person from each local government area within the district elected by universal adult suffrage.”
“The Member or Members of Parliament from the constituencies that fall within the area of authority of the District Assembly as members without the right to vote, the District Chief Executive of the District and other members not being more than thirty percent of all the members of the District Assembly, appointed by the President in consultation with the traditional authorities and other interest groups in the district,”
The assembly members further contended that, so far, only the assembly members and the members of parliament have been sworn into office of the new assemblies on the March15, ceremony, while the other key officers, the Chief Executives, thirty percent government appointed assembly members and the presiding member are not fulfilled.
The situation, they said has brought development in communities within the new assemblies to a grind halt, stressing that, “besides the key officers other departmental and institutions that suppose to work in collaboration with the assemblies are also not in place.”
They therefore called on the President to act swiftly to fill the vacuum and also ensure that all the various departments and structures of the new assemblies are put in place and well resourced to carry out these elopement to the citizens.
Mr Issah later told THE REPUBLIC that, assembly members had a huge responsibility of educating the electorate on government policies and on the need to pay taxes to expand the revenue base of the district assemblies, hence the need to put all structures in in place.
He added that assembly members were core players in the local governance process, particularly the country’s growing democracy and should be adequately resourced.
He further hinted that, should their concerns did not receive results from the government, they would have no option than to proceed to court to compel the President to act according to the dictate of the laws.
Hon Mohammed Norgah, Assemblyman for Adabraka Electoral Area told the paper that, assembly members had a huge responsibility of educating the electorate on government policies and on the need to pay taxes to expand the revenue base of the district assemblies, they were not resourced to carry such duties.
He also bemoaned the delay in putting the new assemblies structures in place to help address their challenges to ensure quality service delivery and administrative efficiency.
Mr Norgah added that, despite the enormous pressure on assembly members in the country’s democratic dispensation, they are not given enough resources for their representative functions in pursuit of the principles of democratic governance.
He further expressed concern on the need for them to be equip with the requisite knowledge, skills and appropriate leadership to bring about the desired change in the country’s local governance and socio-political agenda.
Sources: Felix Engsalige Nyaaba || The Republic News Online