08.04.2005 Regional News

Govt urged to review membership of unit committees

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Cape Coast, April 8, GNA - Mr Kodwo Anaaise Yarquah, the Presiding Member of the Cape Coast Municipal Assembly, on Friday called for the review of Legislative Instrument (L.I) 1589 that deals with membership of unit committees and zonal councils. The review will ensure that the councils are made more compact to facilitate decentralization.

Mr Yarquah said the present large number of the membership, 15 for unit committees and 20 for zonal councils, has made it difficult for many district assemblies to support them financially and logistically.

He said this at a stakeholders' meeting organized by the National African Peer Review Mechanism (NAPRM) and some members of the visiting African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Mission team from South Africa. The meeting, which was attended by stakeholders from the Central and Western regions, was to ascertain the level of the people's participation in the compilation of the report on the nation's preparations towards achieving the objectives of the mechanism.

The areas of assessment are democracy and good governance, economic and corporate governance and socio-economic development. Mr Yarquah said district chief executives should be elected to ensure that they become more accountable to the people.

Mr Frank Adoba, the Regional Director of the NCCE, expressed the view that the oaths of secrecy some public officials swear were militating against the bid to ensure transparency. Dr Chris Stals, APR Panel Member and leader of the visiting delegation, said the report presented by the NAPRM did not mean the end of the APRM for the country.

''The review mechanism is a continuous process to ensure efficiency in the management of national economies.''

He stressed that African countries must decide and analyse their shortcomings and that the meeting was held to determine the level of the people's participation and "not to bring down people or systems". Mr Isaac Edumadze, the Central Region Minister, described the report submitted by the NARPM, as a "serious and coherent" report on the nation's democracy, good governance and development and all stakeholders must work for its adoption.

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