Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La, the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive has observed that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have really come into their own under President Nana Akufo-Addo.
“Under previous administrations, the decentralisation policy had unfolded very slowly, we always spoke about it at for a, but in practice we did very little. But under President Akufo-Addo, MMDAs are really playing a central role in development.”
Speaking in interview with journalists in Accra, Nii Anang-La, who is also the President of National Association of Local Authorities in Ghana(NALAG) said the government’s policy to make MMDAs the pivot of its seven year development plan had put Assemblies right in the thick of developmental affairs, where they ought to be.
“This is because every Assembly is under the obligation to independently generate its interim development plan and tie it in with the Seven- year Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies of the Central government,” Mr Annang-La said.
The Tema MCE revealed that since the launch of the Seven-year development plan in April, a healthy competition had opened among MMDAs across the country through the desire by every Assembly to tap into the plan and reap benefits for its people.
He said the new policy had created a vent for the Assemblies to clear backlog of unimplemented policies for their various areas which had piled up for years.
“The various MMDAs have become more useful and more important in the development process of our country and it is all thanks to the President’s Seven-year development plan which obligates the Assemblies to come up with their own plans and then tie in,” the MCE said.
President Akufo-Addo in April this year, launched the Seven Year Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies which is meant to be a vehicle for driving the government’s development and job creation agenda.
The same plan is aimed at marshalling national effort for the goal to shift Ghana’s developmental paradigm from the current aid-dependent one to aid-free one.
In the plan, MMDAs have the central role of coming up with their various developmental roadmaps and tying them in with the national plan, with such tie-ins left totally at the discretion of the Assemblies.
According to the MCE for Tema and current President of NALAG, the new policy had since brought a greater sense of purpose to the various Assemblies across the country which were now working around the clock to develop comprehensive development plans to be tied-in to the national plan.
Mr Annag-La also said the 38 extra district Assemblies that President Akufo-Addo had created would be helpful to the course of really bringing development to the doorstep of the people.
“Also, President Akufo-Addo’s upcoming plan to have DCEs elected will bring more independence to the District Assemblies and give Ghanaians more say in the development process,” the Tema MCE said.
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