In the Ashanti region, over 300 assembly members have endorsed the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama who promised assembly members across the country that they will all be remunerated for the role they play in the governance process.
The assembly members endorsed the 2020 manifesto of the NDC dubbed ‘The People’s Manifesto’ which promised to pay monthly salary to elected members across the country.
The elated assembly members addressing the press said payment of monthly allowances to them will deal with corruption in the local government system.
It is a known fact that Assembly members do not receive a monthly salary but the only allowance during assembly meetings and they are offered motorbikes as a means of transportation to enable them to do their work for the community in which they serve.
But John Mahama has pledged that his government will implement a policy that will see to it that Assembly members and Unit Committee Members across the country are put on a monthly salary structure just like other public office holders like Members of Parliament for the best developmental projects done and one Ghana course.
He said Assembly Members were “the bedrock of our local governance system”.
At a meeting with the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOSAG) in Accra on Thursday, August 13, 2020, Mahama allayed the fears of skeptics, saying it is possible to remunerate assembly members by cutting down the size of the central government, reduce the number of ministers and the privileges they enjoy and channeling those resources to assembly members.
He observed that the progress made in decentralisation has been rolled back over the last three and half years, following the government’s bastardisation of both the civil service and local government service.
The Assembly members speaking on the promise by Mahama said they are elated adding that it is a campaign for the return of Mahama and the NDC to government.
According to Emmanuel Kobi-Tumfour, the Assemblymember for Asempanaye Electoral Area, the manifesto by the NDC is full of hope to address the major challenges facing the endless duties of assembly members adding that “Now most of the assembly members in the rural districts do not often attend assembly meeting because of lack of transportation. We only survive on sitting allowance which payment in some districts is problematic.”
He said: “Therefore we the assembly members across the Ashanti region fully endorse the NDC’s manifesto. We will like to thank former President John Dramani Mahama for thinking about us.
“We believe that the payment of monthly allowance or allowance to us assembly members will provide us with the needed financial support to discharge our functions satisfactorily. The allowance to some extent could eschew some of us assembly members from seeking petty offers or falling for petty favours from the executives of the assemblies and thereby compromise our authority to demand accountability.
“It will also serve as recognition of our efforts which will motivate and energise us to work harder to deepen our decentralization system. Therefore we welcome the policy as contained in the manifesto of the NDC with joy and enthusiasm and pray fervently for its realization.”