The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has said former President John Mahama’s recent promise to pay assembly members in his next government, should he win the 7 December 2020 general elections, is a rehashed 2012 manifesto promise of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which he never fulfilled as President between 2013 and 2016 while in office.
Mr Mahama made the promise when he addressed a meeting with the Ghana Association of Assembly Members (GAAM) at his office in Accra a few days ago.
He pledged to design training programmes to improve the capacity of assembly members as well as pay them monthly allowances to encourage them to do more for their communities.
However, speaking at a sod-cutting ceremony of a project under the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Program (GSCSP) in New Juaben South Municipality of the Eastern Region by President Akufo-Addo, who is on a working tour there, Hajia Alima Mahama said: “I understand the former President, Mr John Mahama, met with GAAM, which is not an official association of assembly members, to start with, and he promised that when he wins, which is not going to be the case, he is going to pay assembly members a monthly allowance or salary”.
“To start with, the association that he met tried to organise when he was the President and they were prevented because they were told that there is a recognised assembly members association that is the National Association of Assembly Members of Ghana (NALAG), they prevented them, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is democratic, we have allowed freedom of association and now the NDC is meeting them instead of (NALAG)”, she said.
The minister continued: “I want to tell you that John Mahama’s promise to pay assembly members was in their manifesto in the 2012 elections but he didn’t do anything about it. Now they have no argument against the bravest performance in decentralisation and local development, so, they are now promising ‘rooftop promises’ that they cannot offer”.
According to her, “Mr Mahama was not able to pay assembly members, about 10,000 in number” as well as “nurse and teacher [trainees’] allowances, so, would you expect him to put 10,000 assembly members on the payroll?”
“He [Mahama] knows it is impossible, the real situation is that the way the decentralisation scheme has been designed, they are like a board of the assembly and are not a full-time employee”.
NBDI Project to end perennial Flooding in Koforidua.
On the construction of the Nsukwao Basin Drainage Improvement (NBDI) under the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Program (GSCSP), the minister said the programme has been designed to deliver urban development management and services in 25 Participating Municipal Assemblies across the country. The Program is a USD100 million credit facility based on the World Bank’s Programme for Result (PforR) Design, a Performance-Based Grant System.
She added: “The New Juaben Municipal Assembly has identified flooding as a major risk to Nsukwao, Zongo, Two Streams, Abogri and other communities within the Municipality. Nsukwao has since 2016 recorded the highest flooding incident which has rendered most residents homeless”.
“With this intervention, the solution is to deliver a storm drain that will minimise flooding in the identified communities at the cost of GHS 15,811,145.00 and packaged into seven (7) lots. It will involve installation of four (4) stormwater surface detention ponds distributed along the Nsukwao River, flow facilities, channelisation and streambank stabilization, concrete pipes and culverts and two access roads. It is our fervent hope that this project will make flooding history in New Juaben and help restore enhanced livelihoods of the residents in the Municipality”.
She said the main goal the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme (GSCSP) is to improve urban management and basic urban services in the 25 participating Municipal Assemblies.
Therefore, the Programme will focus on two results areas – improved institutional performance of urban management, and improved basic urban services in participating MAs.