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01.06.2005 Regional News

Pay Assembly members monthly allowance - Kwao

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Baamiri (B/A), June 1, GNA - John Kwasi Kwao, Assembly Member for Baamiri in Techiman Municipality has appealed for the payment of monthly allowances to Assembly Members to encourage them to render greater service to their communities.

Making the appeal through Ghana News Agency at Baamiri, Mr Kwao called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to liaise with the Government to arrange for the allowance. "The work of an Assembly Member is voluntary and he or she has a lot of commitments and financial obligations", he said.

Mr Kwao cited how they were invited to fundraising rallies, churchs' annual harvests, end of year school programmes and funerals in their electoral areas and they were expected to make donations. "Because Assembly Members have also been recognized as outstanding community leaders, we find it very difficult and inappropriate to turn down such invitations", he explained.

The Assembly Member added that unexpected visitors and Government officials as well as community leaders from other places called on them and they had to entertain them.

"We also travel by our own means after every Assembly session meetings to inform the people about proceedings and we bear all these expenses", he said.

Mr Kwao, therefore, called on the Government to consider the plight of Assembly Members and institute special allowances for them to boost their morale so that they could work harder towards the development of the communities.

On the payment of ex-gratia awards to Assembly Members at the end of their service period, Mr Kwao suggested to the Government to take over the payment of the awards as the District and Municipal Assemblies found it very difficult to provide the incentive.

"The amounts should be reviewed by the Government as four years voluntary service is not an easy task", Mr Kwao said.

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