The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has reiterated government's commitment to ensuring the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) from 2021.
Hajia Mahama announced that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) had developed a comprehensive road map to guide legislative reviews and stakeholders consultation towards the elections.
To this effect, she said, the Ministry had commenced the sensitization and consultation with key stakeholders towards a referendum in 2019 for the purpose.
The Minister, who made these known at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra, on Tuesday, indicated that stakeholders in the Eastern, Volta, Central and Western Regions had already been engaged and the feedback showed massive support for the partisan election of MMDCEs.
Hajia Mahama also announced that the Ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, had set up a technical committee for the formulation of a Local Government Financial Management Bill.
The Bill, she said, would incorporate municipal borrowing and the current financial memoranda.
According to the sector Minister, the Office of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) had transferred a total of GH₵663,183,029.70 to all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), covering all quarters of 2017.
Furthermore, she said, a total to GH₵48,715,708.86 had also been transferred to 46 participating MMDAs under the Urban Development Plan and that a contract had been awarded for the construction of 20 District Assembly Administration blocks.
She said to increase citizens participation in democratic governance, government had created and inaugurated 38 new Municipal and District Assemblies all of which were functional.
Additionally, she said, 29 District Assemblies had also been elevated to Municipal status with expanded functions including urban roads and transport management.
Touching on rural Development, the sector Minister said the Ministry, in collaboration with the Irrigation Development Authority, had identified 1,221 potential dam cites suitable for the One-Village, One-Dam programme.
She explained that of this number, 5 sites in each of 64 Districts had been completed and a total of 196 sites had been confirmed as suitable for development.
Under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP), Hajia Mahama said the Ministry had implemented the Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) in 2017 and 2018.
She said the Ministry completed the construction of 294 sub-projects comprising 140 plantations (woodlots/fruit trees)-1,553.1 hectares, 103 heeder roads - 332.9km and 51 Small earth dams.
This, she noted, had created seasonal employment for 32,695 persons and transferring a total of GH₵17.71 million as wages to poor households.
On births and deaths registration, Hajia Mahama disclosed that a draft Registration of Births and Deaths Bill had been formulated by the Ministry and reviewed by the Attorney General's Department.
She said the Births and Deaths Registry had also completed the training, installation and deployment of the ICT system meant for the transformation of the registration process of births and deaths, adding that the system had alreadybeen installed in all the registries in 216 MMDAs while a test run had since started.