Esteemed Chiefs Present,
Representative from the Presidency,
Newly Elected Assembly Members
Hon. Members of Parliament
Staff of the Garu-Tempane District Assembly
The Staff of Electoral Commission
Distinguished invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me start by saying that today, the 6th of October, 2015 marks yet an important mill stone in the history of our decentralised administration and local governance system.
Before I proceed, I would like to welcome everybody who has made it this very pivotal occasion.
Mentioned must be made tp those who have come from far and near and have left their busy schedules to grace this occasion. We are extremely graceful to the president’s representative, chiefs, MPs, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen and indeed everybody for coming.
Mr. Chairman, we are gathered here to swear in new Assembly Members; some of whom have been elected and others will be appointed by the government to carry the mantel of our dear district assembly in the next four years
It is gratifying to note that some of you have been re-elected whilst others would be re-appointed. This means, we still have experienced members who will share their knowledge and experience with the new members.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as members of the assembly or our district assembly and wish you well in all you do as you are ushered into office.
Indeed, your election as assembly members is a mark of confidence the people of your various communities or electorates have in you and you are therefore expected to live up to the task ahead to the expectation of the people who voted you into office.
For the duration of your four year term, you are to serve your people and country at the Local Government Level in a way and manner that will let people appreciate the fact that they are truly participating in the decision making process and governance of the nation. Let me be quick to add that this job is a sacrificial one hence all newly elected Assembly Members of the district assembly should it as such and work hard for the people and nation as a whole.
Let me take this opportunity again to draw the attention to newly elected Assembly Members that section 16 (1) of the Local Government Act 1993, Act 462 clearly outlines some of the duties of Assembly Members and states that “A member of a district Assembly shall as appropriate”
- Maintain close contact with his electoral area, consult his people on issues to be discussed in the district assembly and collate their views, opinions and proposals.
- Present the views, opinions and proposals to the district Assembly
- Attend meetings of the district assembly
- Report to his electorate the general decisions of the assembly and its executive committee and actions he has taken to solve problems raised by residents in his electoral area
- Draw attention in general debates to national policies which are relevant to the subject under discussion
- Actively participate in the work of sub-committees of the executive committee
- Bring to bear on any discussion in the assembly the benefit of his skill, profession, experience or specialised knowledge.
- Maintain frequent liaison with organised productive economic groupings and other persons in the district and
- Take part in communal and development activities in the district.
From the above stated functions, Mr. Chairman, the Act further states that Assembly Members should have due regard to national interest and the interest of the people in the district. It is therefore vivid from the act that members should relegate their personal parochial interest, self-centeredness to the back ground.
Mr. Chairman, when the assembly is served by dedicated and committed individual (member) who make a duty to demand accountability of themselves and management of Garu-Tempane District Assembly, then the credibility of the assembly will be assured in respect of its decision making and service delivery to the people.
Therefore, any member who will use his/her position as an Assembly Members to gain contracts or undue favours from the assembly will be committing a serious offence of conflict of interest and would be liable to sanction. I would to use this occasion as a matter of urgency to re-affirm my stands in fighting corruption at this level of ours. I would like to appeal to all newly elected Assembly Members to support me to fight this cancerous thing called corruption. We should not appear to be seen fighting corruption but it should be real. In the light of this, Assembly Members are advised not to seek favours from me (that is the District Chief Executive) and the rest of management from the assembly as this undermines your authority to demand accountability from the management of the district Assembly.
As representatives of your electorates in the Assembly, you are always admonished to comport yourselves in a manner that would demonstrate to the people that you are indeed available as to when the people need your services. As must again add that as representatives of the people you are respected to be diligent, accountable and responsive to the assembly and the people of your electorates.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, to further deepen and give effect to our decentralised system of governance, a number of pragmatic interventions have been undertaken by the current (NDC) and these includes;
- Formulation of a reviewed national decentralisation policy
- Production of a national decentralisation action plan being implemented
- Reduction in the number of unit committees to about 5000 to be conterminous with electoral areas for effective functioning and management
- Formulation of the draft urban development policy.
- Implementation of the street naming and house numbering exercise.
- Implementation of the new sanitation policy
- Strengthening of the Local Government Service secretariat etc.
By implementing all the above mentioned decentralisation policies or intervention, it means that newly elected Assembly Members of Garu-Tempane District Assembly must work had to achieve the desired objective of our people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is an established fact that Garu-Tempane District Assembly is not doing enough to generate more funds internally and thus depends more on the Common Fund. As newly elected assembly members, you must come out with more realistic, innovative and creative strategies in collaboration with management of the district Assembly to generate adequate revenue to compliment the effort of central government. You must ensure that finds provided by central government as well as that of internally generated are prudently managed.
Another area that is dear to my heart and worth mentioning is the management of the district environmental sanitation. We should all make frantic effort that the huge investment made by central government and the district assembly managing waste is not wasted. I am therefore, requesting the newly elected assembly members and the management of the assembly to put premium on sanitation and waste management activities to raid the town and communities of filth and other health related problems associated with insanitary conditions.
As you are ushered in to office today, the assembly will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that performance targets are met. I must say where necessary, appropriate sanctions will be applied against culprits who will fraud the sanitation policy been implemented in the district and the nation as a whole.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me remind you that the success of Garu-Tempane District Assembly will largely depend on the level of co-operation between assembly members and the District Chief Executive as well as other management staff in the discharge of your functions as Honourable Assembly members. I am therefore charging you to work in Unisom as a corporate entity with a common goal of development Garu-Tempane District Assembly and delivering service to the good people of Garu-Tempane District.
I wish to assure you of my office unflinching support in the quest to rendering better services to the people and to develop the district.
I congratulate you all once again on your election to the office of the Honourable Assembly Member.
Thank you and may God bless us all
Long live Garu-Tempane
Long Live Ghana