Says His Commitment Has Not Changed
President John Dramani Mahama yesterday said his determination to fight corruption had not changed and craved the indulgence of all to put their hands to the wheel to achieve that goal.
He said, although there had been several legislations to enhance the fight against corruption, people capitalized on existing loopholes to perpetrate the canker, which was being tackled.
President Mahama, who was opening an orientation programme for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) at Madina, said: “Recently, many comrades have questioned my ability to fight corruption, I dare say they don’t know me well.”
The three-day orientation programme, on the theme; “Re-energising Local Governance for the Attainment of the Better Ghana Agenda,” is to prepare the MMDCEs for their new and critical responsibility as managers of communities at the grassroots.
The orientation course attracted MMDCEs from all over the country, to learn modern and practical governing principles to enhance the decentralization programme in the country.
He said, “In this difficult job, the least one expects is comradeship and solidarity. In the next few days I will announce new measures to tighten the system, ensure more transparency and make corruption more difficult to undertake.”
He continued that “For those who disagree with me and are anxious to see my back, not to worry, 2016 is not too far away. I will urge them to be patient”.
“The issue of corruption, transparency and accountability has become topical. Our people expect us to demonstrate that we are able to deal with the canker of corruption decisively, both in terms of putting in place the systems that make it difficult for corruption to thrive,” he added.
President Mahama urged the MMDCEs to create opportunities for investment and employment generation and consciously ensure the people were engaged in decent, protected and dignified work.
He tasked them to partner with the local area Authorities to device innovative strategies to religiously enforce compulsory basic school attendance in the districts and ensure that no child of school going age was left behind.
President Mahama urged the MMDCES to begin working with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to identify areas of the districts to fulfill his campaign promise of providing additional 1,600 Community Health Base Planning and Service (CHPS) compounds.
He reminded them that he took his 18-month ultimatum regarding the naming of streets and numbering of houses seriously, warning that their continuous stay in office would be dependent on how seriously they implemented that directive.
With regard to housing, he charged the MMDCEs to use portions of the common fund to provide affordable rental housing for the low and lower middle level income groups.
The President urged the Chief Executives to replicate his example of promoting an open system of governance through various social media platforms which allows the citizenry to follow what the government was doing. Ghanaians were demanding not only to be heard, but also to be given the platform to make inputs in making and implementing decisions that had impact on their lives, he said.
Mr Kwasi Oppong Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), stressed the need for the participants to deliver local governance in a way that was responsive to the needs of and beneficial to the people.
“You are enjoined to work harmoniously and productively with the district co-ordinating directors,” he said and expressed the hope that by the end of the programme, the participants would familiarize themselves with the roles and responsibilities of entities and actors in the local governance service.