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10 departments and services are to be restored to MMDAs – Ahwoi

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Ten government departments and services that are not established by law would be restored to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies under the new Decentralisation and Local Government system, Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi, a Prinicipal Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) has announced.

The affected departments and services are: the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Community Development, Public Works Department, Department of Feeder Roads, Department of Town and Country Planning and Department of Rural Housing and Cottage Industries.

Others are: Department of Animal Health and Production, Agricultural Extension Services Division, Crop Services Division and Department of Agricultural Engineering, which would cease to exist under the first schedule (Regulation 1 (a)) of the new Local Government System.

Speaking at a public lecture in Wa on Thursday, Mr. Ahwoi said these departments and services would be amalgamated into 11 departments under the first schedule (Regulation 1 (a)).

He also mentioned the Department of Co-operatives, Controller and Accountant General’s Department, Ghana Library Board, National Youth Organising Commission, Registry of Births and Deaths and Office of the District Sports Organiser would also cease to exist and would form seven departments under second schedule (Regulation 1 (b).

These departments and services would all operate under a Central Administration Department that would serve as the Secretariat of the District Assembly and would be responsible for the provision of support services, effective and efficient general administration and organisation of the district assembly, Mr. Ahwoi explained.

Mr. Ahwoi, however, explained that those departments that were established by law would have to be amended and restored to the District Assemblies under the Decentralisation Programme.

He said it was disturbing that the Health and Education services whose operations affected all, had not been decentralised and gave the assurance that government was committed to ensuring that the decentralization programme worked efficiently and to yield fruitful results.

Mr. Ahwoi said the Health and Education Services, the Game and Wildlife, Fisheries Department, Forestry Service and Ghana National Fire Service among others, had not yet been rolled into the programme.

He said government had therefore set up committees to work and bring the decentralisation programme under the new Decentralisation and Local Government system.

Mr Ahwoi admitted that it was difficult to use a Minister to decentralise the system because some ministries were not prepared to give out power easily.

“We need to induce attitudinal change from Civil Service to accept migrating to the Local Government Service. The doubts that they have about the system is neither here nor there”.

Mr. Ahwoi explained that before the new local government policy would be implemented, all political parties would have to come to consensus to ensure that government departments were restored to the district assemblies to avoid future interference.

On government appointing 30 per cent of persons to the district assemblies, Mr. Ahwoi said the policy had been abused and suggested that it should rather be given to the various Regional Houses of Chiefs to elect members to the assemblies.

Source: GNA

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