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Lack of Presiding Member impeding work of Sunyani Municipal Assembly

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The lack of sub-committees in the Sunyani Municipal Assembly due to the non-election of a substantive Presiding Member is impeding the work of Assembly Members, Mr. Salia Moro, Assembly Member for Zongo Electoral Area in Sunyani, has said.

The subcommittees are; environment and sanitation, planning and development, finance, social and security, education and sports and health.

“We have met with unit committee members on several occasions to discuss about so many issues including how to improve the living conditions of the people for instance in my electoral area.

The issues include absenteeism among pupils, gambling, armed robbery and school children indulging in video games during school hours. We have written to the Municipal Chief Executive, opinion leaders and Brong–Ahafo Regional Chief Imam concerning these matters”, he said.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani, Mr Moro expressed regret that they (Assembly Members) could not act because a Presiding Member was not in place and the subcommittees that were responsible for all these had consequently not been formed.

On the legality of video game operations in the municipality, the Assembly Member said the operators claimed they had been authorized by the Assembly and paid fixed levies to it.

Mr. Moro said it was his priority to help improve educational standards in the area “and this is why we want to stop the video game operations”.

He commended the Assembly for rehabilitating streetlights at Chiraa lorry station in Sunyani and urged the people to cooperate and support him to undertake more development projects in the electoral area.

The Assembly Member appealed for assistance from individuals and organisations to address the water problem in the area.

When contacted Mr. Osei Owusu, Chairman of TV Game Operators Association in Sunyani, said he was authorized by the Assembly to operate and produced a certificate of registration issued to him in 2009 with the signature of Mr. Gyasi Appiah, former Chief Revenue Superintendent of the Assembly on behalf of the Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr. Ameyaw Gyamfi, to support his claim.

He said a meeting with some officials of the Assembly was due to be held at an unannounced date to further discuss the issue.

Mr. Kwasi Oppong-Ababio, Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, when contacted, however vehemently refuted the claim by Mr Owusu that the Assembly gave the operators the green light to engage in that business.

“I am not sure of how and why they should be given authorization to operate. Some time ago, I called a meeting of the operators to ask and deliberate about the issue after hearing on a radio station that school children were patronizing their services during school hours.

“I questioned the revenue department of the assembly for taking rates from the operators since they were endorsing their activities”, he stated.

Commenting on the matter, Mr. Atta Sampson, Chief Revenue Superintendent of the Assembly, said in 2009, it was in within the fee-fixing power of the Assembly to be registering television game operators.

He said in 2010/2011, however, the Assembly scrapped the fee-fixing rate and instructed the operators not to operate their businesses.

“We explained that they (the operators) have to renew their licenses but the Assembly is no more interested in renewing their certificates.”

“It’s illegal to be operating such entities or businesses since the Assembly is not registering any operator because the fee-fixing power has been scrapped this year (2011)”, he added.

Mr. Ameyaw Gyamfi, Municipal Coordinating Director, declined to comment on the issue, saying the matter was before the Regional Security Council”.

Source: GNA

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