The First Ordinary meeting of the Second Session of the Tano South District Assembly has been held at the District capital in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The full house Assembly meeting also saw in attendance Heads of various Government Departments and agencies, a representative of the Bechem Traditional Council, staff of the Assembly, the District Coordinating Director and her deputies and Nana Ampong Kromantang II, the Krontihene of Techimantia.
The presiding member of the Assembly, Hon. Anthony Opoku in an opening address said, he was delighted once again to welcome them to the first ordinary meeting of the second session of the sixth Assembly.
He said, general assembly meeting is an important component of the decentralization process and therefore relevant to the development of the district.
He said, the oversight reasonability of the Honourable members involves promoting community development, collaborating and monitoring the activities of duty bearers to ensure that such activities are carried out legally, efficiently and in accordance to legislative intent and was happy that since they were sworn into office as honourable assembly members they have discharged their duties satisfactorily.
Hon. Opoku said as part of the process to ensure grass root participation in local government, the unit committees that were elected in the Town and Area Councils were inaugurated in February, 2016 to enable them perform their functions, and in all one hundred and seventy four (174) unit committee members were inaugurated.
Hon. Opoku thanked the management of the assembly, Hon assembly members and unit committee members for their roles in making the inauguration successful and entreated all Honourable members to build a strong link with their unit committees so that gaps in the development needs of the communities are identified and measures taken to address them to improve the quality of lives of our people.
Touching on the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), Hon. Opoku said NALAG is a nation-wide organisation and the mouth piece of all local authorities (MMDAs) in Ghana and informed the house that the regional association of NALAG in January, 2016 elected the Presiding Member of the Berekum Municipal Assembly, Hon. Nana Oteng Gyan II as its Brong Ahafo representative. He informed the house that, NALAG in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development have decided to procure and supply new motorbikes to Honourable Members and which as an assembly they were expected to pass a resolution to that effect.
Hon. Opoku told the house that the Public relations and complaints unit of the assembly was an important committee which is responsible directly to the assembly and chaired by the presiding member.
He said in order to ensure openness, transparency and good governance, the committee receives complaints made against the conduct of members and staffs of the assembly by the public and make recommendations to the assembly and also ensure that aggrieved citizens get fast and fair hearing and entreated members to educate their electorates about the existence of the public relations and complaints committee.
Hon. Opoku informed the house that the PRCC has received a number of complaints about stray animals and the destruction they cause to properties and appealed to Honourable members to collaborate with their unit committee to address the issue in their various electoral areas.
Hon. Opoku concluded his address by calling on all to join him to formally congratulate the hon. Member of Parliament for the Constituency, Hon. Hannah Louisa Bissiw, who is also the deputy minister for agriculture for the numerous projects she is undertaking in the district and called on Hon. Members to feel free to contribute constructively on issues which will be raised on the floor of the Assembly.
The Tano South District Chief Executive, Hon. Bukari Zakari Anaba in his sessional address expressed his profound gratitude and commendation to the Assembly Members for their prompt response to the meeting and echoed his promise to continue working with them in an open door and transparent administration devoid of partisan politics and divisiveness and entreated all Hon. Members to focus on their core responsibility which is of development in the district.
Hon. Anaba said, members will agree with him that, effective functioning of every organization depends on its human resource and the Tano South District is manned by competent and hardworking staff which has translated to the success of achieved so far as an Assembly. He said, the staff strength of the Assembly as at March, 2016 stood at two hundred and fifty-five (255) which is made up of one hundred and forty-one (141) females, fifty-four (54) are senior staff, whilst one hundred and eighty (180) are junior staff and said management with the district finance office has increased the wage of IGF staff to meet the minimum wage.
Hon. Anaba said the district has remained relatively calm and peaceful due to the hard work and diligence of the district security committee (DISEC) but however, there have been isolated cases of stealing, chieftaincy and boundry disputes in the district which the security committee is not resting in their efforts to ensure peace. Hon. Anaba said, there have been media reports of terrorist attacks in our neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Cote D’voire, Mali and the rest and also news of Ghanaians young men and women joining terrorist groups in other parts of the world which informs us to be vigilant in our localities and report promptly to the security agencies suspected criminals for appropriate actions to be taken against them.
Hon. Anaba said, the Assembly has received revenues which has been be used for various projects and programmes and said the rate of collection is satisfactory but there is still room for improvement and entreated Hon. Members to step up the collection mechanism to improve on the Internally Generated Fund collection to complement whatever amount the Assembly receive from central government. Hon. Aanaba said, in order to improve on the revenue collection, the administration has embarked on a number of measures to help salvage the situation.
Recognizing the important role the persons with disability play in the socio-economic development of our country, Hon Anaba said the government has set aside two percent ( 2%) of the District Assembly Common Fund allocated to every Assembly for disbursement to persons with disability to support them in a number of factors and was happy to inform the house that the Assembly has from January, 2016 disbursed an amount of GH 39,430.00 to 116 people living with disability for education purpose and income generation activities.
Hon. Anaba said, the Assembly is working towards increasing both geographical and financial access to health and the CHIP concept in the district is operated in two fold and also the Assembly awarded for the construction of three (3) CHIP compounds at Breme, Kwasu and Asuboi which is progressing steadily. He said the Member of Parliament is also assisting in a number of projects at the Derma Health Center and also plans which is far advanced for the commencement of the construction of 200 bed capacity district hospital at Bechem.
Hon.Anaba informed the house that the district office of the national health insurance authority has planned to hold 5 community durbars in selected communities to sensitise the resident on the introduction of capitation in Brong Ahafo Region and these communities are Bechem, Techimantia, Derma, Subriso and Brosankro.
Hon. Anaba said the Assembly in collaboration with the district health directorate and a UK Based NGO, Palladium Groups have been organising Adolescent health programmes in the district to educate our teaming youth on adolescent related issues and also thanked the district director of health service as well as the district epidemic management committee for their swift response in controlling the disease as such cholera, pneumococcal meningitis and others which hit the district and the country as a whole in the last quarter of 2015.
Hon. Anaba said education continues to be one of priorities of the government agenda and as such a number of projects and programmes have been undertaken in this respect in the district. He said, the assembly in collaboration with the agriculture department of the district has established a number of demonstration farms in the district and also a number of measures have also been put in place for the assembly to collaborate with partners to enhance agriculture production and help reduce poverty in the district.
Hon. Anaba said a number of water project is on-going in the district under the CWSA programme whiles road networks in the district is also receiving attention. Hon. Anaba commended Nananom, Assembly members, Heads of Departments for their regular participation in all the national sanitation day exercise in the district since its inception and called on Hon. Members to sensitise their people on the need to participate in the clean-up exercise whenever they are called upon.
Hon. Anaba informed the house of the impending opening of the limited voter’s registration exercise to be carried out in the district and said the Tano South District have 20 registration centre and called on those who have since not registered and are qualified to patronize the exercise and called on all members to have a fruitful deliberation.