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MMDCE’s should not be influenced by ‘honourable’ game - President

Accra, July 5, GNA 

GNA - President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) not to get caught up in the “Honourable and excellency”, game  and rather focus on discharging their duties satisfactorily.

“You can easily be caught up in the honourable and excellency game and begin to think that change has indeed come because you are now being called honourable or excellency, or you are now riding in an eye catching vehicle or now living in the most imposing house in town,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said as the most regular and direct representatives of government in the decentralisation process, the MMDCEs should work for Ghanaians to feel the change that was promised them.

He made the call when he addressed an orientation programme organised for the 199 approved MMDCEs by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Government, at the Institute of Local Government Services, at Ogbojo, near Accra.

He said the change that Ghanaians voted for in the December 2016 general election would start with the kind of attitude the MMDCEs adopted towards people.

“The people of Ghana spoke loudly in December 7, whether the cry for change would be truly reflected in the lives of the people would depend very much on what kind of chief executive they get.

“The best efforts of the President and his ministers would be brought to naught, if you in this room do not perform creditably.

The people of Ghana would see and feel and know the change they voted for has truly arrived if their Chief Executive delivers on the promise of government. It starts with the attitude you adopt towards people,” he said.

Change, the President said, would be measured in better sanitation and a more wholesome environment.

“People would know there is change when the quality of local governance shows improvement, they will know there is change when there are jobs for young people, and they will know there is change when officials come to work on time,” he noted.

President Akufo-Addo reminded the Chief Executives that people in their districts “were not looking for people that would lord it over them, they are not looking for a new set to jump the red lights and traffic queues, instead of working to find solutions to the traffic jams for all of us.”

According to the President, “People would know there has been no change if a three unit classroom block is still built at exorbitant cost to the state and if contractors are not being paid on time and businesses are suffering.”

He said the people would know there was change when the Chief Executive was seen to be implementing the pledges of government.

“They will know change has come when you treat them with courtesy and humility as their servant…they will know change has come when the galamsey (Illegal mining) menace has been defeated in your locality.”

The President said Ghanaians were looking for a higher standard of conduct from current public officials than in the recent past and asked them, to declare their assets as demanded of public office holders by the 1992 Constitution.

He said that his office would submit the names of all the MMDCE’s to the Auditor General by Monday, July 10, and they would be expected to file their assets declaration forms within two weeks.

“That exercise will be monitored. It is important that the Ghanaian people understand that, for us, public service is exactly that, public service, not personal gain.”

President Akufo-Addo urged the MMDCEs to help build the capacity of unit and zonal councils of their Assemblies, and also allocate resources to allow them play their proper roles in the local governance system.

“I do not intend to start any new controversy, but I will say this; we need to take a closer look at the unit committees and zonal councils especially, and see how effective they can be.

“If we need to do some radical realignment of the structures, we should not be afraid to do so. This would be a good time to take a close look at the things that work and those that do not, and not carry a lot of baggage simply because they are on the books,” he added.

He also urged the Chief Executives, as chairs of their various Security Committees, “to ensure peace and law and order in your districts. All our plans will only work if there is peace. I advise you to be careful and tactful in managing issues of intelligence and security”.

GNA

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