Accra, Dec. 21, GNA - Vice President Alhjai Mahama on Tuesday castigated District Chief Executives, whose anti-social characteristics drove people in their districts to seek audience with the President over issues that could have been tackled locally.
"We have received complaints that most of you are not accessible. This is unfortunate as it undermines the decentralisation process. I urge you to make yourselves available to the people at all times," he said.
Vice President Mahama was closing the 12th two-day annual conference of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in Accra on the theme: " Responsive Local Government for Poverty Reduction and Wealth Creation".
He stressed: "Your success as District Chief Executives will not only be measured in terms of technical and bureaucratic competence, but by such factors as political maturity and your relations with chiefs, the public, the Party (New Patriotic Party) and your Members of Parliament."
Vice President Mahama said although the District Assemblies were non-partisan they represented the ruling NPP Government, hence the need for the Chief Executives to work with Party officials to engender public confidence in the Government to win Election 2008.
Talking confidently about the economic management track record of the NPP, he said the tough and pragmatic policies adopted by the then newly elected President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2001 had led to positive economic recovery, which was facilitating the process of attaining the status of a middle-income country by 2015.
Vice President Mahama said District Assemblies had a crucial role to play in this national endeavour, saying: "The assemblies are not merely administrative bodies, but also economic management entities whose efficiency is central to effective national development. "You have a critical role in facilitating overall investment promotion in your districts. I challenge you to be more imaginative and proactive," he said.
Mr Charles Bintim, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, who chaired the function, said the participants had gained the requisite knowledge about the new financial management laws of the country such as the new Procurement Law.
Mr Michael Adjowerh Nortey, District Chief Executive of Dangbe West, who was the Course Chairman, expressed the need for the Chief Executives to be offered car loans and other improved conditions of service.
"We must be given the option of purchasing our official vehicles when our time is due as it is the practice in the Civil Service, " he said attracting cheers from his colleagues. Mr Nortey said the approval process for the President's nominee should be streamlined to prevent people who used subtle means to thwart the process.