16.08.2004 General News

New Districts To Take Off

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The government has secured a $1 million grant from the EXIM Bank of India to help support the smooth take-off of the 28 newly- created district assemblies. The money is to be used to purchase vehicles and office equipment for the new assemblies.

The assemblies will be inaugurated on Thursday. Mr Kwadwo Adjei Darko, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, announced this at a meeting with district chief executives out from whose districts the new ones were carved in Kumasi at the weekend.

The meeting was organised by the ministry to help offer the DCEs the opportunity to discuss issues that are likely to emerge during the transitional period.Among the issues discussed were the sharing of assets between the old and the new assemblies, government appointees, staffing arrangements, preparation for the inauguration and handing over.

Mr Adjei Darko said there had been agitation for the creation of more districts, adding that the ministry was still considering those applications.However,the ministry would only give approval for the creation of more districts depending on the performance of the newly created ones, he said.

He charged the DCEs to make sure that assets and liabilities were equitably distributed between the old and the new assemblies, taking into consideration projects that which were going on and revenue collection.

On the issue of staffing, the minister said various regional co-ordinating councils (RCC) were considering the transfer of some experienced staff from the old assemblies to the new ones as heads of departments in the new ones.

In addition to that, he said the ministry was relying on the National Volunteer Programme, in collaboration with the National Service Secretariat, to help solve the staffing problem in the new assemblies.

He called on the DCEs to try and make life comfortable for the volunteers so as to help ensure the success of the exercise.The DCEs gave the assurance that they would co-operate to ensure a smooth take-off of the new assemblies.

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