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20.09.2005 Regional News

PM stresses need to enhance capacity of assembly members

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Elmina (C/R), Sept. 20, GNA - Mr Frank Kwesi Appiah, Presiding Member of the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District Assembly, on Tuesday expressed concern about the inadequate period of orientation for assembly members, which he said was hindering their ability to discharge their functions effectively.

He noted that both appointed and elected assembly members who were supposed to be in office for four years, were just "rushed through" a few days of orientation.

Mr Appiah expressed these concerns at the first ordinary meeting of the third session of the Assembly, at Elmina.

"Should there be any replacement as a result of death, resignation, or withdrawal those involved would have to depend on their own skills to deliver," and expressed regret that this accounted for the poor out put and poor performance of many assembly members.

He urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to make it mandatory for the Institute of Local Government Studies to organise at least a training workshop for all assembly members once a year to up-date their knowledge and sharpen their legislative skills to enable them to deliver.

Mr Appiah further suggested that funds for this could be sourced from the two per cent statutory deduction from the District Assemblies Common Fund.

Mr Frank Asmah, the District Chief Executive (DCE), announced that the Assembly would this year spend a total of 142 million cedis on scholarships and bursaries for brilliant but needy students as well as teacher trainees.

Thirty tertiary students would be assisted with 15 million, whiles 70 senior secondary school students and 184 teacher trainees would be assisted with 35 and 92 million cedis respectively, he said. He gave the assurance that the Assembly would continue to support education in the District and urged assembly members to educate their people on the need to take advantage of the capitation grant to enrol their children in school.

Touching on revenue generation, he said the Assembly was able to generate 366.9 million cedis from it local sources as at the end of June this year, against a target of 883.6 million cedis and urged the assembly members to intensify their educational campaigns for people to honour their tax obligations.

He said the District had so far received 1.4 billion cedis of the 5.9 billion cedis as its share of the common fund to continue with its development projects.

The DCE also enumerated several projects that had been undertaken and those in progress including those with funds from the EU, HIPC and the Assemblies Common Fund, such as the provision and rehabilitation of market stalls and sheds, toilets and boreholes.

On the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Asmah said 158 communities had been sensitised, but was unhappy that premium contributions from the non SSNIT contributors was not encouraging and called on all Assembly members and chiefs to educate the people on the need to register with the scheme.

Mr Asmah said under the Elmina- Gouda sister-city relationship, the Assembly had received sanitary equipment from the Gouda Municipality in the Netherlands, and expressed the hope that additional 500 litre bins would arrive next month.

Nana Kodwo Kru, Omanhene of Komenda Traditional Area, on behalf of the chiefs of the area pledged their support for the DCE and called for peace and unity among the members. 20 Sept. 05

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