Nii Lante Vanderpuye, a former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has observed that challenges such as late disbursement of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), under-resourced personnel and insufficient resources stagnate the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He lamented that some of the MMDAs struggle to raise revenue and sometimes only depend on the DACF but will develop faster if issues such as revenue, logistics and human resources are addressed.
Nii Vanderpuye who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodoo Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, expressed the sentiment against the backdrop of processes put in place to conduct district level elections and referendum slated for December 17, 2019, for the citizenry to approve or reject the election of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
The election of MMDCEs was a major campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the 2016 elections and the government has already presented the amendment of Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution which requires the president to appoint MMDCEs to Parliament.
In addition, the bill amending Article 55 (3) would also pave the way for political parties to sponsor candidates for elections of MMDCEs and Assembly Members and when passed, all MMDCEs would be elected by Universal Adult Suffrage after the 2020 general election.
Currently, Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that District Chief Executives are to be appointed by the president with prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of Assembly Members present and voting at the meeting.
However, Nii Vanderpuye, who is also the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Local Government and Rural Development Committee, downplayed relevance of election of MMDCEs and indicated that their election would only provide human resources to manage assemblies but won’t resolve challenges within the decentralisation makeup.
“Just mere election of MMDCEs will not resolve our challenges of decentralisation, we need aggressive decentralisation in order to resolve our developmental challenges at the local level, if we don’t do an aggressive physical decentralisation, we also don’t do an aggressive human resource, the country may just be marking time,” he cautioned. -citinewsroom.com
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