President Mahama Tells MMDCEs To Let Their Lifestyle Project Good Image Of Government

The President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has admonished metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) to lead lives that will project the good image of the government. He, therefore, appealed to them to exhibit modesty and humility in their personal conduct and give respect to traditional authority and the people they served. He said as frontline performers, they were expected to do a lot in driving the development agenda of the government, and so they could not afford to lead lives that would reverse the progress made so far. Addressing the opening of the 2014 MMDCEs conference in Accra Wednesay, the President also asked them to ensure the prudent management of the assemblies' resources. The three-day conference is on the theme, "Implementing the Better Ghana Agenda: The sixth milestone." Performance improvement To improve the performance of MMDCEs, the President said he had directed the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the head of Local Government Service to review the assessment of the Functional Organisational Assessment policy to ensure that officers whose activities denied the assemblies valuable resources would be sanctioned. Mr Mahama said it would be a mistake for anybody to think that the transformation agenda of the nation was his sole responsibility. "The transformation agenda before us is not an agenda for the President alone but for the whole country," he explained. Critical projects President Mahama said as his direct representatives in the districts, MMDCEs should be seriously involved in pushing development projects to the communities. He wanted them to carry through health projects, especially the implementation of the 1,600 new CHPS compounds he promised and the construction of school infrastructure, particularly kindergartens. Mr Mahama said education continued to be the priority of the government and it was working to integrate kindergarten education into the basic education system. Job creation The President reminded the MMDCEs that "we pledged to provide jobs to create decent lives for our people. I must say job creation is inevitably a local effort and that is why our decentralisation efforts are shifting to local development". Mr Mahama admitted that executing various projects and programmes demanded funds and said that was why plans were being executed to decentralise critical funds such as the Road Fund so that decisions on how they would be utilised would be carried out at the local level. Even as this was carried out, the President charged the assemblies to improve their internally generated revenue collection. But, in doing that, he said, they must ensure that the people and businesses were not overtaxed. "If you overtax them you drive businesses away," the President said. New district offices President Mahama said the procurement process for the construction of offices for the six newly created districts in 2012 was complete and since funds for the projects were ready, work was expected to start next month. He noted that his regional tours had been worthwhile, mentioning the latest of the trips to the Ashanti Region, which he described as hugely successful. He thanked the Asantehene and the chiefs and people for the wonderful reception given him. The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, said MMDCEs had a duty to uphold the public and national interest in carrying out their work. He asked them to be circumspect about the comments they made. The Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr P.V. Obeng, who chaired the function, said if the grass roots would continue to have a real feeling of the Better Ghana agenda, then MMDCEs would have to effectively anchor government activities.