The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr Dan Botwe, has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to be innovative and think outside the box to enable them to achieve their mandate and meet the aspirations of the people.
“Your ability to perform your functions creditably calls for innovation and thinking outside the box. It is said that you cannot continue doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results,” he said.
He was speaking at the beginning of a three-day refresher course organised for MMDCEs from the Ashanti, Bono, Ahafo and Western North regions in Sunyani last Saturday.
The course provided the avenue for the MMDCEs from the four regions to share experiences with local government experts and policy makers and also equip them to re-strategise and find practical approaches to solving local developmental challenges.
Mr Botwe, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere, reminded the participants that their success in office would largely depend on how well they were able to discharge their functions.
That, he said, called for engagement with the citizenry through town hall meetings, public meetings, awareness creation, advocacy on core development issues such as agriculture, health, security, sustainable development and dissemination of government priority programmes and projects, to enhance the understanding of the people on the programmes.
“This zonal refresher certificate course and many other programmes will be offered MMDCEs to expand your knowledge, global perspectives and analytical rigours on local governance and local level development issues,” Mr Botwe stated.
He said the ministry would also continue to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure regular reporting on performance of the MMDAs using other systems and approaches available to it.
“This, in my view, will enable you to implement projects and programmes and devise appropriate strategies to surmount any bottlenecks that may emerge,” he said, and added that the Regional Coordinating Councils would also play critical roles in the monitoring and evaluation of all MMDAs.
Mr Botwe gave an assurance that the ministry would promote inter-sector/agency collaboration to ensure that its efforts were not duplicated in the implementation of the government’s laudable initiatives.
He said the ministry had begun the development of a feedback information communication technology-based system known as Dashboard to enable it to have direct feedback on pertinent issues in their areas of jurisdiction.
The objective of the Dashboard is to ascertain how the MMDCEs are performing and the quality of impacts they are making towards the realisation of the needs and aspirations of the people.
Mr Botwe said it was envisaged that all MMDCEs would provide at least quarterly feedback using the Dashboard.
In her welcome address, the Bono Regional Minister, Ms Justina Owusu-Banahene, encouraged the MMDCEs to be proactive in their service delivery and ensure that acceptable standards and best practices were adhered to, particularly “value-for-money” audit of all projects.
“We are accountable to the people and as chief executives; you must at all times be accessible to provide the needed answers to our electorate to their satisfaction. It is the surest way of gaining their trust and confidence in our governance,” she advised.