The Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Shani Alhassan Shaibu on the occasion of the 2nd local governance practitioners’ forum on Tuesday, 30th March, 2021 said, the NPP government remains committed to living by the dictates of the constitution and strengthening decentralization and local government.
He said, their commitment to transforming decentralization and Local Government, saw the NPP government introducing proposed amendments in 2019.
“On local economic development, the strides made in the 1Village 1 Dam Policy, the 1 District 1 Factory policy, the Planting for Food and Jobs, the Planting for Export and Rural Development, among others are all very important interventions that would enhance local Economic Development.
“Of course the recent redesignation of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development also signifies the refocusing of our Government on Decentralization and Local Government,” he said.
However, Hon. Shaibu noted that, despite their gains, the country still have the challenges of the non-election of Chief Executives, administrative decentralization still face problems of lack of adequate infrastructure and logistics and also inadequate resources to operationalise the Departments of MMDAs etc., fiscal decentralization is still challenged by central controls, and Local Economic Development is only just beginning.
Hon. Shaibu therefore, assured that, the government will continue to pursue the effective implementation of all the policies relating to decentralization and Local Government to ensure that the desired results are achieved.
He added, accountability is key, hence called on MMDAs to brace themselves and to step up their accountability mechanisms, so that the people will appreciate them better and support their plans and programmes.
The 2nd Local Governance Practitioners Forum:
The 2nd Local Governance Practitioners Forum is organized by the Institute of Local Government Studies under the theme “Setting the Agenda for Decentralization and Local Government Transformation in Ghana”.
Hon. Shaibu commended the Institute of Local Government Studies, for instituting such a forum, which obviously will generate more ideas that would strengthen and improve Local Governance in Ghana.
“There is no doubt that decentralization and Local Government form the basis of participatory democracy. They also hold the key to the unleashing of our potentials (both human and material resources) towards the speedy progress and development of our communities, and the country, generally,” he added.
He lauded the initiative for bringing together experts and practitioners at the forum to look at the various issues and urged them to consider the relevant issues for the development of our country.
Decentralization In Ghana:
Ghana’s decentralization has obviously come a long way, having been solidified by Chapter 20 of 1992 Constitution which states that “Ghana shall have a system of Local Government and Administration which shall, as far as practicable be decentralized.
Subsequent to this constitutional provision, various legislations have been enacted notably, Local Governance Act, Act 936, with accompanying policies, plans and programmes, rolled out periodically, to give meaning to decentralization.
Public Relations Officer, NRCC