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28.10.2008 General News

A Three-Storey Building for the Local Government Service Secretariat

By Yakubu Abdul-Jalil/Victoria Osafo Bema.

The Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Hon.Kwadwo Adjei Darko, has cut the sod for the commencement of the expansion of the office accommodation for the Local Government Service Secretariat in Accra.

Speaking at the ceremony last Friday, the sector minister said, in order to enhance good Governance and sustainable development, the Government of Ghana introduced a decentralisation policy as a key tool outlining the principles for decentralisation by sanctioning the transfer of 'functions, powers, responsibilities and resources' from the central to the periphery through Local Government Act 462 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.

He noted, 'The processes to ensure effective decentralisation has been alarmingly slow due to several factors,' adding tha  the entire Service is supposed to have a full compliment of staff strength of 70. In view of the fact that the existing office accommodation is not spacious enough to house all the required staff, most of its activities were slowed down.

 The Minister further said  that in fulfilment of the Local Government Act 462 which led to the promulgation of the Local Government Service Act 2003, an amount of GH¢400,000 have been allotted for the project which is to be completed in three months.

He also commended the Danish Embassy for their tremendous support to the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE) in the decentralisation process, through technical assistance to the Decentralisation Secretariat.

The Danish Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Stig Barlyng, also said that their government has been supporting decentralisation in Ghana for a substantial number of years. 'We have supported selected District Assemblies with funds through the Ghana Road Fund for creating District Works Department and to support routine maintenance and spot improvement on feeder roads.'

The Danish Transport Sector Programme Support (TSPS) is to contribute to Ghana's Road Sector Development Programme (RSDP.) This aims to play a part in revitalising the economy and reducing poverty lowering transport costs and improving rural access within the framework of Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).