The Ashanti Regional Minister, as part of steps to improve efficiency of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) has initiated a meeting that will serve as a platform for interaction between the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (ARCC) and the various MMDAs. The meeting, which was held on February 17, 2022, was the first of its kind within the year.
According to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah, the meeting, which is anticipated to be held regularly, will make the various Assemblies effective since resource persons at the ARCC will discuss pertinent thematic areas that are of great importance and will inure to their benefit.
The Regional Minister noted that, MMDAs are at the forefront of development in the Country since development at the MMDAs directly affect the people at the grass root. Thus, when the MMDAs perform their duties effectively, it will directly affect the welfare of the people, as such, the performance of the government depends greatly on the performance of the various MMDAs. He bemoaned the number of audit queries raised against several Assemblies in 2021 and encouraged MMDCEs to take advantage of an interaction section with the Regional Internal Auditor, Mrs. Sheila Arthur to rectify such audit infractions.
According to the Regional Minister, though COVID-19 has devasted the world economy of which Ghana has not been spared, the lesson that the pandemic has thought is that MMDAs must produce locally so that in a similar situation, MMDAs “will not be found wanting”. The government has shown the way through the Planting for Food and Jobs Policy, which according to the Minister, led to high production of maize and rice thereby alleviating the devastating effect that the pandemic would have had on the economy. Another lesson from the pandemic is that, MMDAs cannot rely only on government source of revenues, “MMDAs must focus more on IGF”, he added.
The meeting witnessed a presentation on 2021 Audit Observations Responses by MMDAs during which the Regional Internal Auditor, Mrs. Sheila Arthur encouraged the MMDCEs to implement audit recommendation and ensure timely submission of their annual reports. Mr. Kwakye Andoh, Chief Local Government Inspector, in his presentation on IGF Performance in 2021 noted that, MMDCEs must own revenue collection in order to improve on their revenues. Also, Mrs. Beatrice Kwarteng Osei Asare, Acting Regional Economic Planning Officer, who gave a presentation on the Performance of MMDAs in DPAT noted that about 30 percent of MMDAs fell below the national average. MMDAs where encouraged to put up strategies to improve their performance. Some Chief Executives however noted that some of the indicators were difficult to achieve as such would recommend that it be reviewed.