Assembly members in the country are to receive motorbikes by the end of November this year to facilitate their work in their electoral areas.
The procurement process, started by the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), will be completed by November 7, 2009 to pave the way for the suppliers to deliver the motorbikes to NALAG for onward delivery to the various assemblies.
The acting President of NALAG, Mr Isaac K. Kodobisah, who made this known at the opening of the 16th national delegates conference of the association in Kumasi yesterday, said the motorbikes would also serve as motivation for assembly members.
He said the motorbikes would be procured from the supplier with deductions from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).
Mr Kodobisah, who is also the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, said the system of allocation would be arranged at the local level.
The three-day NALAG conference, which will elect new officers to steer the affairs of the association, is on the theme, “District Assemblies’ Response to the Global Financial Crisis – Consolidating Development at the Local Level”.
Mr Kodobisah was convinced that in the absence of an attractive ex gratia, the motorbikes would motivate assembly members to work extra hard in their respective areas.
He commended the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Joseph Yieleh-Chireh, for the importance he attached to activities of NALAG.
He stated that the construction of an office complex for NALAG was on course but said the association needed about GH¢1.8 million to complete the work.
He indicated that NALAG was planning seminars for chiefs on how to improve local governance.
Mr Yieleh-Chireh, who officially opened the conference, said after 20 years of the decentralisation programme, the NDC government had seen it useful to review it to meet the challenges of the time.
He said over the years, NALAG had done its best to improve local governance and expressed the hope that the conference, would come up with decisions to enrich the programme.
The minister challenged the conference to bear in mind the Millennium Development Goals and come up with suggestions to meet the targets set under the goals.
He commended NALAG for initiating the office project and assured the association that the ministry would support it to complete it.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, described the conference as very important, especially as the government was poised to strengthen the local government machinery, and urged the participants to ensure that the election of new executives was conducted peacefully.
In his welcoming address, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, said people in the communities were looking up to their respective assemblies to develop strategies to address their development challenges, adding, “We dare not fail.”
“We should be seen by our people as leaders who are ready to promote their economic well-being and not hide behind constraints or challenges and leave them in a state of despair,” he stressed.
He pointed out that the assemblies could implement national and local policies and programmes when they generated enough revenue and judiciously invested it in projects that would yield direct benefits for the people.