ILGS being retooled to train local government staff— Dan Botwe

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The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) is being retooled and revamped to provide structured training to all categories of local government functionaries and staff, Mr Daniel Botwe, Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development has said.

Mr Botwe said the ILGS was also designing various executive courses to expand the capability of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive (MMDCEs) to lead, inspire and achieve the aspirations of the people within their jurisdiction.

He announced this when addressing the opening session of a three-day zonal refresher course for MMDCEs in Tamale on Tuesday. The course, organised by the MLGDRD, is being attended by MMDCEs drawn from the Northern, North-East, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West and Bono East Regions to enhance their competencies and leadership skills to enable them to deliver on their mandate.

The MMDCEs preside at meetings of the Executive Committee of Assemblies, are responsible for the day-to-day performance of the executive and administrative functions of District Assemblies and are also the chief representative of the central government in the districts.” Mr Botwe said “To help you succeed in the performance of your functions as well as deepen local governance and decentralisation programme, I am determined to prioritise your training and development throughout your tenure as MMDCEs.”

He said, therefore, “This zonal refresher certificate course and many other programmes will be offered MMDCEs to expand your knowledge, global perspectives and analytical skill on local governance and local level development issues.” He added that, “The Next Generation Leadership Training modules will also be rolled out for Assembly Members as well as Presiding Members and this should enable them provide effective oversight and representation of their local constituents.”

He said through this, the government would be realising its aspirations of bringing governance closer to the people and improving the quality and spread of development interventions across the nation. He said after the capacity building programmes, the Ministry would devise appropriate strategies to obtain real-time feedback from the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) on the delivery of government's programmes and projects for evidence-based decision-making and policy direction at the central government level.

Mr Botwe emphasised that, “in view of this, the Ministry will enhance the District Data Development Platform, which is computerised data-based system to be accessed by the MMDAs, Regional Coordinating Councils, National Development Planning Commission, Office of Head of Local Government Services and the Ministry” to provide real-time data for the assessment of district operations and performance.

He said the Ministry had initiated processes to develop a feedback ICT-based system known as “DASHBOARD'' to have direct feedback from MMDCEs on pertinent issues at the MMDAs to ascertain how well MMDCEs were doing and the quality of impacts they were making towards the realisation of the needs and aspirations of the people at the local level and their responsiveness to the government's business.

He reminded the MMDCEs that,“The vision of the President with regard to Local Governance and Decentralisation is to ensure that the living conditions of the citizenry are improved through the formulation of appropriate policies and implementation of these policies at the local level” urging that, “We must work hard to realise the vision of the President.”

He expressed hope that the MMDCEs would receive, “The full support and cooperation of all stakeholders and the traditional authorities as they also have critical roles to play in strengthening local governance and deepening decentralisation through mediation, counselling and in the acquisition of land for developmental projects within the districts.”

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister spoke on the need for MMDAs in the region to improve on internally generated revenue to address the developmental needs of the people announcing that, “We have concluded an arrangement in the region to start an intensive engagement with all MMDAs in the region to tackle this issue.”

Alhaji Saibu added that the “Exercise is to commence on February 11, and we hope it will yield results.”




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