General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
In a bid to promote a governance system that allows the citizenry to hold the government accountable, the Ministry of Information yesterday held its maiden Town Hall Meeting in Tema.
The Town Hall meetings, which are being organised by the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, are aimed at interacting with the various segments of society and also creating a platform for people to ask questions on development issues and the utilisation of assembly resources.
The meetings will be held in all 216 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) across the country to sensitise citizens and answer their questions on government policies and activities.
Launching the programme yesterday, the Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Hamid, said the government was seeking to forge a partnership with Ghanaians on the numerous policies being implemented with their taxes, hence the introduction of the Town Hall meetings.
According to him, one of the reasons behind the establishment of the Ministry of Information was to ensure free flow of information, such that every citizen got the opportunity to know what government was doing with their taxes.
He stressed that the governance process should be a daily process, saying “that exactly is what these Town Hall meetings are meant to achieve”.
Aside from the Town Hall meetings, he said, the ministry had also introduced the National Policy Summit to involve other stakeholders and the citizenry in the governance system.
The Minister for Local Government, Hajia Alima Mahama, said the local government system entailed the active involvement of the local population in ensuring improved quality of service and leadership.
She tasked the MMDAs to extend the Town Hall meetings to the sub-structures of the assembly system to bring governance to the doorstep of the citizenry.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Tema, Mr Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, pledged to work towards a complete restoration of Ghana’s industrial city of Tema to its glorious past as a model city.
The audience asked questions, ranging from the worsening sanitation situation, poor waste management, lack of street lights, revenue collection, job creation to unemployment, among others, to which the MCE, the three Members of Parliament in the metropolis, namely, Mr Daniel Titus Glover (Tema East), Kofi Brako (Tema Central) and Carlos Ahenkorah (Tema West), as well as the ministers of Information and Local Government, took turns to respond.
Mr Titus-Glover, for instance, expressed concern over the way revenue collection from some big companies in Tema had been outsourced to private entities.
He mentioned companies such as VALCO, Nestle Ghana, GTP, GHACEM, ALUWORKS and TOR and tasked the TMA to take steps to remedy the situation and mobilise funds for development.
Members of the Invisible Forces who were at the meeting vowed to visit mayhem on government officials for what they perceived as failure on their (government officials) part to offer them jobs.