The first ordinary meeting of the fourth session of the Tano South District Assembly has been held at Bechem the District Capital.
A cross section of the Assembly members and the dignitaries at the Assembly meeting
In an address to welcome the honorable Assembly members, the Presiding member of the Assembly Hon. Anthony Opoku said he was particularly impressed by their massive and prompt turn out for the meeting, this he said was a clear manifestation of their commitment and dedication towards improving the standard of living of the people they represent and serve.
Hon. Opoku said their standing orders which mandates them to meet periodically to examine their performances as members of the Assembly and map up strategies to surmount the myriad of challenges that confront them as they endeavor to develop the District.
Hon. Opoku said, in times like this he sees it as a unique opportunity for all of them to bring their divers ideas together to build a consensus of enhancing the growth and development of the District and said as honorable members they have the oversight responsibility over activities performed in the Assembly and they must ensure they are done within the ambit of prescribed regulation.
Hon. Anthony Opoku addressing the house.
Hon. Opoku informed the house that Hon. Agnes Naa Momo Lartey assume duty on Monday, March 31 2014 as the newly appointed General Secretary of NALAG due to the death of Alhaji I. M. Sheriff on 15th March, 2014 and again informed the house of the postponement of the National NALAG Executive election.
The Presiding member informed the house that a third motorbike belonging to an assembly member has been stolen and informed the house that a committee of three members would be formed to look into the circumstances leading to the stealing of motorbikes belonging to assembly members and offer appropriate advice to all of us but until then they should endeavor to safe guard these motorbikes so that they can use them effectively in the discharge of their duties since nobody knows how many are yet to be stolen hence the need to be alert and called on all of them look out for the missing bikes.
Touching on the public relation and complaints committee of the Assembly, Hon. Opoku said the committee is a very important committee of the Assembly which ensures openness, transparency and good governance and receives complaints from both Assembly members, staff and the general public and makes recommendations to the Assembly.
Hon. Opoku said, since the District Assembly common Fund is not sufficient in meeting the developmental needs of the District the Assembly must explore innovative ways to increase our internally generated fund (IGF) which in effect means the Assembly should increase revenue and reduce expenditure.
He said the Assembly in 2011 and 2012 resolved that the Assembly should procure two pickups for revenue mobilization and administration but these decisions have not been implemented. Hon. Opoku said members would recall that in their last general Assembly meeting a decision was taken to construct a pound for stray animals and was happy to inform the house that their decision have been implemented and thanked the DCE, DCD and other Technical officers of the Assembly for respecting their decision and said it was left with them to ensure that the structure constructed does not become a white elephant but serve its intended purpose.
Hon. Opoku said he presumed every one of us here would be able to identify his or her mother but was not sure the same could be said about fathers, he said this underscores the fact that mothers play a crucial role in the nurturing of children and therefore determine the destiny of our society and as we celebrate mother’s day he wished all mothers a happy belated mother’s day and said for those who are privilege to have their mothers still alive should do something special for them if they have not done it to show your appreciation. He said to the members who are women among us, we are proud of you.
Hon. Opoku concluded by urging all present to feel free to contribute to issues that will be raised on the floor of the house and remember that they are the voice of the thousands of people they represent and have come here to serve and used the occasion to wish all present a warm welcome.
The Tano South District Chief Executive Hon. Bukari Zakari Anba in his sessional address said it is with a sense of duty that he joins the Hon. Presiding member in welcoming all herein present to the first ordinary meeting of the fourth session of the Assembly.
The Tano South DCE delivering his sessional address
He said, we have gathered here as a team to update ourselves on developmental issues affecting the Tano South District and entreated honorable members to eschew partisan consideration on the floor of the house and discuss matters in an unbiased and transparent manner devoid of rancor so that we can take decisions in the interest of the District.
Hon. Anaba said he acknowledged the untiring efforts of all of them to work to improve the living standard of our people and hope the co-operation and support would continue and seized the opportunity to introduce the new co-ordinating director of Tano South District Assembly in the person of Mr. Hayford Kyere who took over from Mr. Sulemana B. Saaka who has been posted to the Banda District.
Hon. Anaba said revenue is the hub of government machinery and its impact on development cannot be under estimated, he said without adequate revenue our mission as an Assembly would be far from being achieved therefore revenue generation from internal service is a major responsibility of the Assembly as we cannot over rely on transfers from central government and other sources.
Hon. Anaba said inspite of the challenges being faced by the Assembly in its quest to mobilize enough revenue from our traditional sources for development he was of the strong conviction that the District has the potential in terms of resources for the achievement of our revenue targets.
He said he strongly believed that the revenue collectors are simply not collecting or the revenue collected goes to the wrong pockets and said there may still be bad nuts among the collectors or the general public who assist tax payers to either evade tax or under invoice and as a way out he wish to call on honorable members, unit committee members to strengthen their supervisory role over all categories of revenue collectors and in addition Town/Area councils should get actively involved in the collection of revenue iterms that have been ceded to them and also the need to strengthen the revenue staff at the various cheeks point with the assistance of the police.
He said in an effort to further address this unfortunate trend management has rolled out some strategies to tackle the of low revenue generation in the district.
On the National launch for the distribution of rural LPG cylinders and cook stove by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in the District, the assembly took delivery of 4000 pieces of 6kg cylinders and cook stove from the Ministry and considering the total population of the District which is about 73,123 the number was inadequate but to ensure fairness it was distributed in proportional terms as a number of cylinders and cook stove have been distributed to people in every community in the district and called on all to join hand with him in congratulating the members of Parliament Hon. Dr. Hanna Louisa Bisiw for her high level of lobbying skills which yielded 4000 LPG Cylinders stove and accessories but hinted that as Oliver twist we will always ask for more.
Touching on the commissioning of the Techimantia policlinic, the honorable District Chief Executive said he believed the construction of the Polyclinic would afford the people of Techimantia and its environs would have the opportunity to access better health care and entreated the people to once again congratulate the MP Hon. Dr. Hanna Louisa Bisiw for initiating this project to a successful completion.
He hinted that the Assembly would budget for the construction of 2 CHIP compound and 2 Basic schools in the Assembly’s supplementary budget of the composition budget 2014 as mandated by the President of republic of Ghana in an effort in advancing the Better Ghana Agenda.
Hon. Anaba said preparations are for advanced on the street naming and property address system and the staff of the physical planning department would start their recruitment and training on the soft ware to be used and wished to appeal to all members to continue to educate their constituents to co operate with them when they are on the ground.
On the limited registration exercise towards the 2014 District Assembly elections, Hon. Anaba said due to the impending District Assembly Election this year to elect Assembly members of which he felt many of them may still want to contest there was the need for the electoral commission to update for the voters register hence the “Limited Registration” because it is not meant for everyone, the registration is meant for those who have attained the age of 18 years and above this year and people who could not register during the 2012 registration exercise.
He said in the Tano South District there will be one registration center per an electoral area which meant that the District would have 39 registration centers the breakdown of which is Bechem and Brosankro area 18, Techimantia area 12, and Derma area 9.
Education, the District Chief Executive said has been identified as the key to the eradication of poverty and ignorance and affords the people the opportunity to develop themselves to participate in the global economy but it is surprising to note that inspite of all the efforts being made by the government and the Assembly to improve upon the quality of education in the District, the standard of education still leaves much to be desired and wished to appeal to all stake holders especially the District Directorate of Education to make the best out of the existing facilities and structures for us all to achieve our common goal of raising the standard of Education in the District.
The Tano South District, the DCE said has generally remained calm security wise and commended the security Agencies and all for working to sustain peace in the District and entreated Hon. Assembly members to be security conscious and report promptly to the security agencies any incident that has the potential of escalating into security problem
Hon. Anaba informed the house that the Assembly has been undertaking a number of on –going infrastructural project which include District Assembly common fund (DACF) and GET fund and said the Assembly has completed the procurement process for the 2014 projects which will start soon and finally informed the house that the Executive committee have met to discuss the report of the various sub-committee and made far reaching recommendations for consideration and approval by the house and entreated members to critically examine all the issues and approve for implementation.
The presiding member Hon. Anthony Opoku called the house to order after the sessional address and began business of the day which included the low internally generated fund and ways and means of finding a solution to address the problem.Present at the meeting were the District Co-ordinating Director and his deputies, Heads of Departments Assembly members and a section of the general Public.