NALAG Holds 20th Biennial Delegates Conference In Sunyani
A Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Osei Bonsu Amoah says for the nation to realize the Ghana Beyond Aid vision by the President, there is the urgent need for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to situate the government’s transformational flagship programmes in the administration of local government.
The transformational flagship programmes, the Deputy Minister mentioned, include the Planting for Food and Jobs, One-District One-Factory, One-Village One Dam, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Infrastructure for Poverty Alleviation Programme, Free SHS, Digital Addressing System and E-Technology System, among others as well as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
“For us in the local government sector, therefore, the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid and SDGs will be largely realized if we work diligently and efficiently in delivering on the government’s flagship programmes and the Global Goals”, he said.
Mr. O.B Amoah was delivering the keynote address at the 20th biennial delegates’ conference of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) in Sunyani.
The 3-day conference, which ends today Friday June 14, 2019 is on the theme, “Ghana beyond aid; a paradigm shift for sustainable development, the role of local authorities, was attended by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Presiding Members and Assembly members and a host of others.
As part of the conference, delegates will be electing new national executives of the association to steer the affairs for the next two years.
The Deputy Minister noted that as local authorities, one critical role required of them towards achieving the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda was revenue mobilization in the country’s local governance system.
“Since Ghana Beyond Aid cannot be successful without effective local governance, it is critical that we promote accountability in local governance” described the government’s plan to have MMDCEs elected as “bold and courageous decision.”
According to him, the Local Government Ministry has introduced some policy interventions to improve the capacities of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in revenue generation.
Among them, he stated, are reviewing and issuing fee-fixing guidelines to guide MMDA rates and fee fixing process, developing an IGF Strategy and reference guide, digitization of street and property and the development of a digital platform to simplify the issuance of business operating permits, among several others.
Mr. O.B Amoah, who is also the MP for Akwapim South, entreated the leadership of NALAG to work with members to step up their efforts at avoiding over-reliance on central government transfers by improving on the mobilization of IGF as well link property rate collection with service delivery by spending a greater part of their IGF on development projects.
For her part, the Bono Regional Minister, Mrs. Evelyn Ama Kumi-Richardson, acknowledged the key role played by NALAG in Ghana’s decentralization process and the gains made in the regard so far.
“The gains chalked in our decentralization journey cannot and should not be trumpeted without acknowledging the key role played by NALAG, particularly since members are the driving force in all policy implementations in our quest to bring local governance to the door-steps of our citizens”, she said.
According to the Regional Minister, “the machinery of delivering for the Ghana Beyond Aid is the local government structure and therefore I wish to urge all gathered here to come together and …ensure that the ultimate aim of this vision by the President is achieved.
Among key areas which have engaged the attention of delegates are revenue mobilization, local economy, climate issues and Sustainable Development Goals.