Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur on Thursday reminded people in leadership positions in government to rally behind President John Mahama and make effective input into the successful execution of the Better Ghana programme.
He said the programme was the basis on which the Ghanaian electorate elected the ruling government into power and that there was no way that it should be left to the president alone.
According to the Vice President, people would only renew their mandate if the Better Ghana programme was successfully carried out, hence the need for all to get on board to make the agenda successful.
The Vice President gave the reminder in an opening address at a regional minister’s confab underway at the Busua Beach Resort at Sekondi Takoradi in the Western regional capital.
“The Better Ghana Agenda is not an agenda for the president alone; it is an agenda for the National Democratic Congress, for that it is the agenda for which we went into the 2012 electoral battle; indeed that is the title of the NDC manifesto.
“Having won that battle, it has become the national agenda. Those of us in leadership positions need to work to ensure the implementation and attainment of the agenda,” the vice President said.
He added “no excuses can be accepted; deviation cannot be tolerated. We must demonstrate to the Ghanaian electorate through our performance that we are ready to carry on for four more years until 2020”.
The three-day conference, running from Thursday to Saturday, is on the theme: “Redefining the Roles of the Regional Level in Governance Architecture,” attracting all the 10 regional ministers across Ghana and their Coordinating Directors as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) from the Western Region.
The meeting would provide allocation for reflection and sharing of notes to afford the regional ministers the opportunities to take stock of their performance for the period they have been in office.
It is also an occasion to make input into government policy implementation and the realisation of the National Democratic Congress Better Ghana Agenda, as well as deepening democracy and good governance in Ghana.
Among the issues to be discussed are: the drafted consolidated local government bill, the drafted national development planning commission bill, the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency GYEEDA problem, the upcoming district assembly level elections, the national security situation and the implementation of the Better Ghana Agenda.
The Vice President reminded the nation that this year is the 21st anniversary of the 1992 constitution and therefore expressed the need to redefine the role of regional level in governance, based on the practicality of the constitutional provision on a regional level governance.
“This year is the 21st anniversary of the coming into force of the 1992 constitution. At age 21 therefore we have reached maturity in constitutional governance. We should therefore have gained the experience as regional ministers to redefine the role of the regional level in governance based on the practicality of the constitutional provisions on a regional level governance.
“The issue is how effective the regions can play roles in national governance,” the Vice President said, and also called on the conference to redefine the relationship between the regional, district and sub-district level of governance.
On the GYEEDA problem, the Vice President said it was avoidable, adding that, it is good that it is on the agenda.
He was of the view that the marginalisation of the regional level in the implementation of the programme might have contributed to the problem.
He queried how the originators of the programme could have thought that a programme covering all 170 districts of the country at that time could be controlled, managed, supervised, coordinated, monitored and evaluated from one central point in Accra, was one of the many puzzles.
“In your interactions with the new GYEEDA coordinator, you should seek to integrate the regional level firmly into the regional level implementation,” Vice President Amissah-Arthur advised.
He noted that the upcoming district assembly election has major political and security implications, and called on regional coordinating councils, and especially regional ministers who are the chairmen of the regional Security Council to team up with the Electoral Commission to make the elections incident free.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur referred to recent agitations by the people on poor state of social conditions protestations over nomination of District Chief Executives DCEs, resistance of the police by galamsey operators or a group of workers declaring unilateral strike actions and urged regional ministers and the coordinating councils to provide early warning mechanisms to nip the tensions in the bud.
“Many of those agitations could ameliorate if the coordinating councils took pre-emptive measures rather than wait for the agitations to develop before reacting.
“As chairmen of the regional Security Council, an important function of the regional minister under section 7B of the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act 1996, Act 526, is to provide early warning to government of existence or likelihood of any security threat to the region, to the country or the government.”
He urged the regional ministers to discuss how that aspect of their mandate could be implemented more effectively in a succession with the National Security Coordinator.
Some of the resource persons at the conference are Professor Kwamina Ahwoi, leading local governance expect across Africa, Mr Paul Victor Obeng, a senior presidential advisor and Okogyeman Kwaku Gyamprah 111 a member of the council of state n Omanhene Sefwi Chirano chaired the opening ceremony called on the government to take the necessary steps to ensure adequate security in the oil rig area and major communities in the Western Region.
He expressed the hope that the regional ministers would come out with a more comprehensive policy initiative that would bring the governance system and the traditional authorities closer together.