Integrate traditional rulers into local governance – Issifu

Dormaa – Ahenkro (B/A), Feb. 4, GNA – Mr Aziizu Issifu, the Executive Director of Social Development and Improvement Agency (SODIA), has called for a law to integrate the functions of traditional rulers into the local governance structure.

He said although traditional rulers still wielded power, they were however, challenged in their role as chiefs, to be assertive as most of them don’t understand the processes and functions of the MMDAs.

Mr Issifu said this to the Ghana News Agency after a day’s workshop organized by SODIA, a non-governmental organisation based in Bechem in Brong – Ahafo Region.

The workshop was organized for various groups and associations drawn from Dormaa – Ahenkro in the Dormaa Central Municipality under the Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Project (SPEFA).

Groups which attended the workshop included queen mothers, representatives of disabled associations, transport organisations, opinion leaders and selected staff of the Dormaa Municipal Assembly.

It was aimed at assessing the flow of information between the MMDAs and the various groups and associations as well as equipping them with the right information and knowledge to enhance their understanding of public expenditure management and the local government process.

Mr Issifu said many chiefs are unaware of the process by which they can claim their rights from MMDAs, and as a result they ended up ‘seeing themselves as servants of the MMDAs’.

The Executive Director said personnel of MMDAs who were duty – bound to explain policies and programmes from the MMDAs to the people failed to perform their duties and this created an information gap between duty – bearers and claim – holders.

‘People don’t have information to be empowered to ask the critical questions to elicit responses from duty – bearers as there are perceptions that the MMDAs activities are not transparent and accountable’, he said.

He said the SPEFA project would work to bring 120 people from various groups in Dormaa Ahenkro to learn a model through forums on local government, MMDAs and how their funds are disbursed to enhance transparency and accountability in the local government system.

The Executive Director said the project, which would run for three years, would be reviewed annually. GNA

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