The Local Government Workers Union (LGWU) has pledged its commitment to work with Mr. Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, new Minister of Local Government and Rural Development towards efficient service delivery in Ghana’s decentralization programme.
A statement from its General Secretary Mr Joe Boahen to the Ghana News Agency on Saturday said the LGWU, as a major social partner with the vision to bringing quality service to the door steps of Ghanaians, considered it “a heartwarming, the appointment of Mr Oppong–Fosu…”
Mr Oppong-Fosu until his appointment by President John Mahama was the Head of the Local Government Service.
It said the Union welcomed the appointment and indicated members’ readiness to partner him (Mr Oppong-Fosu) to fully implement the Local Government Service Structure at the Metropolitan, Municipal District Assemblies.
“It is the expectation of the LGWU that more resources will be sourced for MMDAs to help them in tackling sanitation issues which have become major developmental problems facing the MMDAs.”
The LGWU said, however, that the efforts of the new Minister together with her team at the Ministry would not yield the right dividend if Ghanaians continued to exhibit negative attitudes towards sanitation.
It mentioned issues like disposing off wastes indiscriminately and non-adherence to MMDAs bye-laws with regard to building regulations. “Such behaviours tend to hinder the work of managers of the Assemblies,” it said.
The LGWU said since revenue generation continued to be a major problem to the MMDAs, it was of the view that property rate, a major source of revenue, should be re-looked at in order to tap fully what ought to come from it.
It appealed to MMDAs to explore ways of motivating the staff of the revenue department, especially those who collect property rates in order to enhance the revenue base.
Again the LGWU said the MMDAs, which had privatized collection of property rates should reconsider their decision.
“We are therefore advocating a Special Court to be constituted to deal with property rate defaulters. It must be noted that the properties are at fixed locations and the defaulters can easily be traced to face the necessary sanctions.”
The LGWU warned that it would not condone acts of embezzlement on the part of revenue or property rate collectors at the MMDAs. “While we are calling on the Assemblies to motivate revenue collectors, the union strongly urge the revenue collectors to exhibit high sense of transparency and accountability in discharging their duties.”
The Union pledged also its commitment to partner other relevant stakeholders in the local governance structure such as the Local Government Service and Chief Executives of the MMDAs, Unit Committees and traditional authorities to come up with creative measures to step up revenue mobilization.
It assured the new sector Minister of its resolve to always strive to adopt constructive dialogue in resolving any labour issue.
“LGWU believes that ensuring industrial harmony is not a one-way traffic, and we hope our social partners will play the role expected of them so that the labour environment will be a ‘win-win’ situation, because efficient service delivery at the local Government level calls for the commitment of all.”