President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked all his Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) not to be anxious over the expected MMDCE elections planned to take off in 2018.
According to him, the election will lead to a deepening of the country democracy as well as promote accountability.
The President was speaking at an orientation event for newly appointed MMDCEs organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Government at the Institute of Local Government Services at Ogbojo in Accra on Wednesday, 5th July, 2017.
[contextly_sidebar id=”UvE5mwCJ9EkMoafEf8exB3W0qvKyELpf”]He gave the assurance that, the processes to amend the constitution to allow for the election of the MMDCEs will soon kick off.
“I belong to the group that has always advocated for the direct, popular election of Chief Executives. It is now a Manifesto commitment of the ruling party, the NPP, so you must be aware that it is going to be fulfilled…which will make you the last batch of Chief Executives to be appointed under the current system.”
He also advised the MMDCEs to conduct themselves in a worthy manner, stressing that, that will affect their chances of retaining the position
“Your conduct and performance will determine whether you will earn the confidence of your electorate…I do not believe there is anything to fear in the direct election of Chief Executives. On the contrary, it should lead to a deepening of our democracy and better accountability. It is time to make it work,” he added.
Good time to be in charge of districts
Stressing to the Chief Executives that this is a good time to be in charge of districts, municipal and metropolitan areas, the President noted that “you have the opportunity to transform the local economy and preside over the creation of jobs for our people.”
This, according to President Akufo-Addo, is because the district is the target for all the programmes (aggressive industrialization and value addition to agricultural produce, modernizing agriculture, improving production and efficiency and achieving food security) government has set and is introducing to grow the economy.
“The Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) will be implemented at the constituency level, where the allocation of the equivalent of one million US dollars annually will be used to finance capital expenditure for infrastructure and other facilities in the localities” he said.
Once established, the Development Authorities for the northern, middle and coastal belts will serve as the primary executing agencies under IPEP to oversee the implementation of the “One Million Dollar One Constituency” programme.
Again, the President stressed that “the ‘One Village One Dam’ policy initiative, like all the other innovative introductions to the economy, are all very much local initiatives. I am hoping that a genuine sense of fair competition will come into the operation of the districts.”
With the coming into effect of these policies, President Akufo-Addo was confident that “we should be able to see the difference in the quality of schools from one district to the other due to the quality of the supervision.”
He continued, “We should be able to judge for ourselves quite soon what one district does with its one million dollars and compare it with what another district does with theirs. It is up to you in this hall to make the 1 district, 1 factory scheme a success.”
The challenge, the President noted, “is very much for the deprived areas to take advantage of these programmes to bring change to your districts. You have the opportunity to change your districts from places where people move from, to places where people move to. Let your factories thrive and you will soon discover that people will move to your districts, instead of the current position where all your young and strong people move away to Accra and Kumasi.”