Dr Nicholas Awortwi, Director of Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), has proposed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to sign performance contracts with the citizenry, to serve as basis for assessing their delivery and stay in office.
Dr Awortwi said in line with the performance contracts, citizens would come out with scorecards every year to rank the performance of the MMDCEs vis-à-vis the contracts.
He said if after two years of rankings the MMDCE failed to deliver or meet the expectations of the citizenry, he or she must be removed from office.
He was making a presentation at the second Local Governance Practitioners’ Forum held in Tamale on the theme: “Setting the Agenda for Decentralisation and Local Governance Transformation in Ghana”.
The forum, which brought together some staff of the Local Government Service, researchers, representatives from civil society organisations, and traditional rulers, was to elicit views and recommendations through discussions and experience sharing for policy reforms, leading to efficient, effective and sustainable local level governance and development.
Dr Awortwi said the current local governance system had reached a plateau and there was need for far reaching reforms to fix the weaknesses in the sector to better deliver for the people, hence the call.
He said the country needed to revisit the issue of the election of MMDCEs, saying this could be done on either partisan or non-partisan basis to ensure that the MMDCEs were accountable to the people as well as worked efficiently to address their concerns.
He said there was need to bring back Town Development Committees (TDC) to replace Unit Committees in rural areas and make chiefs chairpersons of the TDCs to ensure their improved representation and involvement in local governance in the country.
He emphasised that “a coalition of assembly members, traditional authorities, local government functionaries, community-based organisations, civil society organisations amongst others, must work together to push upwards for reforms on terms that favour local governance.”
Mr Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, have assured that “Government will continue to pursue the effective implementation of all the policies relating to decentralisation and local government to ensure that the desired results are achieved.”