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Regional News | Jun 25, 2004

Country's poor development is due to poor local level structures

GNA

Bunso (E/R), June 25, GNA- The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Capt. Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey (Rtd.), has attributed the country's poor development to lack of effective functioning of local government structures. He was opening the 7th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Local Government Workers Union (LGWU) at the Cocoa College on Thursday at Bunso in the East Akim District.

The four-day conference had as its theme: "Environmental sanitation and revenue mobilization: Challenges - the role of LGWU". Capt. Effah-Dartey noted that while the local government system was able to lead communities to keep clean environment and provide social facilities such as schools, roads and health posts, the system broke down due to military interventions until the introduction of the district assembly concept in 1988. He said: "as far as some of us are concerned the period of military interventions are over, we will not tolerate it anymore as democratic governance has come to stay forever."

Capt. Effah-Dartey blamed the low revenue generation of many district assemblies to lack of transparency and honesty by revenue collectors. He charged the Union to come out with effective measures to assist the government to make the town, area and urban councils to function effectively.

The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mr Kwasi Adu Amankwa, expressed concern about the high rate of environmental pollution and called for the allocation of more to address the problem. He called for the eradication of embezzlement, corruption and wastes in some of the district assemblies.

Mr Adu Amankwa noted that it required enough courage to do away with corrupt practices and called on the Union to help the assemblies to check these malpractices. On the implementation of the District Mutual Health Insurance Schemes, he pointed out that the TUC was apprehensive about entrusting such a scheme to the assemblies who, it felt, should have been groomed through the grassroots so that they could deliver. He explained that it was for this reason that the Congress decided to set up its own Private Mutual Health Scheme from the medical provisions already being enjoyed by its members.

Mr Adu Amankwa reminded the Union of the new Labour Act and urged them to evolve strategies that would strengthen unity among workers. The General Secretary of the Union, Mr Stephen Yaw Bonnah, pledged the Union's determination to ensure that its members played their role effectively to promote local government development through increased revenue mobilization.

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