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26.02.2009 Politics

Appoint two MCEs each for metropolitan assemblies — Opanin Afreh

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Opanin Kwame Afreh, Chairman of the Asante United Forum, a pressure group in Kumasi, has called for the amendment of the Local Government Law, Act 462, to make it possible for the appointment of two chief executives each for all the metropolitan assemblies in the country.

He said for instance the appointment of two chief executives each for the Kumasi, Accra, Sekondi-Takoradi and the Tamale metropolitan assemblies would ease administrative work and facilitate development.

A statement signed by Opanin Afreh said the amendment of the Act would also make room for the creation of offices for the monitoring of party political activities and yet another for purely administrative and management of the cities.

He explained that this would help plug the vacuum created by the existing system, which rendered government ineffective at the local government levels.

Opanin Afreh, who is also a veteran political activist, said his suggestion was not an innovation and recalled that the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah employed such a method to administer the country.

He said “If it was prudent for the Nkrumah regime to appoint two District Commissioners in the persons of Mary Osei and one Fosu for Kumasi in those days when the population was relative low, then it stands to reason to have two mayors today when the population had increased tremendously”.

Opanin Afreh said if President John Evans Atta Mills cherished the achievements of Dr Nkrumah, there was the need to remind him of some of the brilliant ideas of Nkrumah to facilitate his reign.

He cited the administrative set-up of the Electricity Company of Ghana where Ashanti region has been divided into Ashanti West and Ashanti East regions with a regional director assigned to each of the two regions for effective administrative and operational purposes.

Opanin Afreh stressed that the administration of the metropolitan assemblies by two chief executives each would promote efficiency in view of the larger population and the expansion of the area of the assemblies.

He said the creation of sub-metro councils under the metropolitan assemblies had not been beneficial because they were not operational and functional as the structures were simply not functioning, making the decentralization policy a mockery.

“Under the sub-Metro council system, each sub-metro is supposed to be headed by a Deputy Metro Chief Executive, but no such position has been created since the Local government Act was amended some years ago to make them autonomous”, Opanin said.

He suggested that assembly members who under the local government system, formed part of governance, must be paid appreciable salaries instead of irregular allowances to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their local areas.