The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Daniel Botwe, has paid a courtesy call on Ya-Na Abukari II, Overlord of Dagbon, to update him about the activities of the Ministry and efforts being made to improve local governance in the country.
Mr Botwe, who was accompanied by the three Deputy Ministers of his outfit on the visit to the Gbewaa Palace at Yendi on Wednesday, expressed gratitude to the Ya-Na for his continued counsel and direction to the government.
They were led to the palace by Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister.
Mr Botwe and his deputies were in the region as part of a three-day zonal refresher course for MMDCEs drawn from the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West and Bono East Regions.
The course, which opened on Tuesday, was to enhance MMDCEs’ competencies and leadership skills to enable them to deliver on their mandate
The Minister mentioned traditional authorities as major stakeholders in local governance, and charged all MMDCEs to regularly consult traditional leaders for advice and brief them on their development programmes. He said this is necessary so that, together with our revered leaders, we can support citizens and follow government programmes for the development of all of us.
He told the Ya-Na that “the President has directed that every three months, all MMDCEs will let us know the interactions they have had with the citizens, first with the traditional rulers; how many traditional rulers they have met, how many religious leaders they have met, other stakeholders; market women, drivers’ unions, teacher unions; what their demands and opinions on government’s projects are, so that when President is in Accra, he is in touch with all that is happening throughout the whole country.”
He noted that the central government is strong only when all the 261 local governments are also strong and are interacting with the people, stressing that it will bring development to the doorsteps of the people as well as get their cooperation when interacting with them.
In response, Ya-Na Abukari (II) appealed to government to double up efforts to address the Yendi Water project and electrification initiative to ameliorate the plight of the people of the area.
Mr Botwe assured the Ya-Na that he would reach out to the Ministers in-charge of water and rural electrification to address the issues of water and electricity in the area.