The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment is in the process of acquiring bicycles for Members of District Assemblies to facilitate their activities in their districts.
Answering questions from Members of Parliament, sector minister Stephen Asamoah-Boateng said various interactions with some Assembly members revealed that most of them face difficulties in their line of duty in terms of transportation.
"Mr Speaker, it may interest my Hon. Colleagues to note that, the issue of motivation for Assembly Members is not only a matter of payment of allowances. On my tour to the Districts, Assembly Members have spoken of their difficulties in moving from Community to Community to meet and interact with the people. A strong case has been made to procure means of transport, preferably motorbikes for each Assembly Member for their work on similar conditions as Members in this House are privileged to enjoy in acquiring their working vehicles, My Ministry is exploring the options to support Assembly members to offer their best in their work" he stressed.
In response to a question from Wisdom Gidisu (NDC, Krachi East) on the Ministry's plans to take up direct payment of allowances to District Assembly Members as a way of motivating them to perform better, he said Assemblies are required by law to raise local revenues to enable them carry out their functions and the Ministry does not intend to amend that.
"Mr Speaker, Part 19 Section 73 (1) states that "The Assembly shall determine the allowances to be paid to members of the Assembly in respect of attendance at meetings of the Assembly, meetings of the Executive Committee or meeting of Sub-Committees; and any transport expenses actually incurred by any member of the Assembly in respect of the attendance at such meetings." Therefore, taking it up would put an additional burden on the Ministry, he observed.
Apart from the District Assembly Common Fund allocation, the salaries of staff of the District Assemblies are paid by the Controller and Accountant-General. District Assemblies are therefore required to cater for the allowance of Members through their Internally Generated Funds.