Northern regional minister feels ignored

Northern regional minister Limuna Mohammed Muniru has argued, it is highly inappropriate for his colleagues to always ignore the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) which he heads, in matters that are of both regional and national importance.

He suggested that contracts are awarded, with contractors mov­ing to site to commence work, without the knowledge of the Regional Coordinating Council, as well as the respective District Coordinating Council.

The tough-speaking politician, who did not hesitate to mention a project by the Energy Ministry recently, where some 6000 LPG cylinders, were distributed in the region, which included his dis­trict, said tha he was painfully never informed.

“Just this morning, I listened to news that the Energy Ministry came into my region to do a very important programme that we are not aware of’

The Ministry promoted the use of LPG in the region, distributed over 6000 cylinders in my dis­trict, without our involvement, only to listen to news, because the sector minister says………. with all apologies. I think we must not continue to work like that as a government, he advised.

The Minister, a former civil ser­vant, made the observation when the Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, as part of his three day working tour of the region to inspect progress of roads under construction at various places in the region, visited him and included him in his tour.

According to him, such unilater­al decisions taking by Ministers and their agencies, hinder coor­dination and harmony, making it very difficult for him to speak to issues taking place under his ambit as a regional minis­ter.

“We are supposed to coordinate the activities of the other sectors within the region, so it some­times baffles us when sector ministers come ………………. maybe because they see this region to be as poor and they have all the resources that can do what they want to do and get away without  reference to us”, he said.

He went on “We need to tell our stories; we need to know what others sectors are doing. As a regional minister, I must be on top of all the policies of all the sectors. But if you come and you don’t involve the regional minister, and we don’t get to know”.

“We must involve our col­leagues; we must work together and harmonize our efforts. So it is good we are moving together and we get to know some of our projects. Even that, there are cer­tain projects that has no recourse to RCC”, he stressed.

He continued that apart from the harmony and coordination, the security of any visiting minister, should be the responsibility of the region, adding that “they in the region know the problems and challenges there, so .they should be included to make con­tribution and monitor progress of projects”.

The Minister, who described the phenomena as petty and regret­ful, chided the Greater Accra Regional based ministers, to be open minded and involve the likes of him, with respect to projects in his region.

“I don’t think we must reduce ourselves to this pettiness of politic; we must be frank with each other. You even go there and the contractors or the con­sultant sees you as a stranger. So they don’t see the need to involve you”.

“For instance your Sawla – Fufulso road, I don’t know the contractors, as well as the con­sultant, they don’t do anything with recourse to us, even includ­ing the District Chief Executive (DCE), who is supposed to be [right there] representing the president”.

I was told there was a bridge that they had to commission around Mohonori, because they are part of the contract, they had to be there, they only took a Member of Parliament (MP) to go and commission. I mean is that how to work as government?

Mr. Muniru, who was in the company of his deputy, Alhaji ABA Fuseini said, “I am sorry to be saying this, but you see, we must know the right thing and try to do right things to harmo­nize. Because there is a repre­sentative of government here, who doesn’t know anything about the bridge, but authorities of your [Ministry] went with somebody else to commission the bridge”.

“I don’t know how true it is, but if that is true, I don’t understand. That a Regional Minister is there, a DCE is there, he is not aware and an MP goes to com­mission a bridge that is a nation­al project”.

“Even yesterday something hap­pened [here] under our nose, we didn’t know so how does the regional Minister speak to issues? It doesn’t encourage the working relationship with your representative in the region”.

He commended Alhaji Fuseini for his hard work, which he believed caught the eye of the president to give him an equally difficult ministry to head.

In a response, Alhaji Fuseini , who doubles as MP for Tamale Central, promised to work hard to ensure that whatever is due the region is given.

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