The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) on Monday May 17th organized a training of trainers meeting to equip presiding members and Unit Committee members with the requisite knowledge to be able to execute their primary roles in the governance structures as enshrined in the Legislative Instrument (L.I) 1967.
Delivering the speech of the purpose of gathering, the General Secretary of NALAG, Kokro Amankwah sounded worried that the assemblies face numerous challenges partly due because delegated responsibilities are not carried out as expected, especially by unit committee members.
“Mr. Chairman, it is sad to note that the unit committees are becoming dead on arrival. This is because not much is done after their inauguration, which sometimes does not even happen. This leaves them with no option than to resign to fate in disillusion and apathy”, he said, adding that the practice was “unacceptable and something drastic has to be done to stem the tide.
Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah delivering his keynote address expressed delight for the choice of the Western Regional capital for the workshop, adding that he found the theme “Strengthening the Base; Transforming the Centre” timeous.
“Indeed I am particularly excited that this training workshop is taking place at such a time when many have questioned the essence of the sub-structures in the country’s developmental agenda in our quest to decentralize. This largely because the sub-district structures have over the years been relegated to the background by most of the assemblies, and consequently starved of the needed funds, manpower, logistics, and most especially to me, mindset to fully take charge of their delegated responsibilities”, he said.
Dr. Darko-Mensah emphasized that the Ghana beyond aid agenda requires the base to be able to support the center. The opposite he says, is not workable. According the minister who doubles as MP for Takoradi, the centre seem to over the years have enjoyed strengthening and the base left to rot.
The Regional Minister alluded to the vision of the 1992 Constitution for decentralization, thus including the ordinary Ghanaian in the development process. This he said makes the people own their development and do their best to preserve it.
He added that more responsibilities shall soon delegated to the local people via the unit committees, making specific mention of ‘galamsey’. “ I believe that as I speak, people will be looking at ‘galamsey’, but very soon Assembly Members, Unit Committee Members, Chiefs in the local areas will be tasked to be responsible for some of these things that continue to ravage this country”, he said.
The meeting of the training of trainers will see NALAG touring the 16 regions of Ghana to educate trainers who will further educate Unit Committee members in ensuring that they properly fulfill their mandate.