President John Dramani Mahama has urged the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, to consider revenue generation instead of the over-reliance on the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) and other central government budgets.
He emphasised that government would continue to play its role in developing the assemblies through the provision of logistics, staffing and office accommodation.
The President gave the advice in a speech read on his behalf during the inauguration and swearing of the 108 members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in Accra.
President Mahama said many assemblies have the potential to generate revenue for these purposes but this has not been fully exploited.
He said one area that needs serious attention is property rate collection and with the appropriate data that could serve as the basis for improved collection of rates.
He said he doubts how many assemblymen even know the number of houses they have in the communities, adding: “One major challenge is the unplanned and haphazard development currently going on in most assemblies.”
The President said: “It is so nauseating to see slums being developed in marshy areas and houses built on water ways.”
He cautioned the Town and Country Planning Department, Survey Department and the Lands Commission to desist from the allocation of plot without due diligence to ensure that these plots are developed according to their designated land use to avoid the danger of flooding, loss of lives and property.
“When the assemblies are served by dedicated and committed individuals who make it their duty to demand accountability of themselves and management of the assemblies then their credibility will be assured in respect of decision-making and delivery of service to the people,” he said.
Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive urged the newly elected assembly members to be strong advocates of development in their respective areas and not to resort to illegal activities such as assisting people to place containers on pavements and unathorised places.
He advised them to stop the needless struggle over the management of public places of convenience and other public facilities.
Dr Vanderpuije called on the assemblymen to consult and provide information to their communities in order to formulate credible policies, programmes and projects for the benefit of the people.
He tasked the assembly members to ensure that the goals of the 2014-2017 Medium Term Development Plan of the AMA derived from the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda II together with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals become achievable.
Reverend Sylvanus Torto, Anglican Bishop of Accra who chaired the function urged assemblymen not to see their call as money making venture but commitment to work.
He urged the assemblymen to go down to the grassroots to educate the people to cooperate and take part in communal labours.