From Samuel Agbewode, Ho
The President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), Mr. Felix Mensah Nii Annan-LA, who is seeking a second term in office is advocating for Presiding and Assembly Members to be treated as Article 71 office holders, where their End of Service Benefits would be charged on the Consolidated Fund and not from Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the assemblies.
He said he lobbied and submitted a document on the issue to the Constitution Review Committee to consider Assembly Members and Presiding Members as Article 71 office holders to ensure fairness, equity and to motivate members to give off their best.
Addressing leaders from the various Municipal and District assemblies in Volta region, in Ho and the Oti region at Dambai respectively, Mr. Mensah Nii Annan-LA said he has many plans and programmes for members of the Association to enhance their work in the various assemblies.
He assured that when given a second term opportunity, he would initiate the processes leading to the payment of ex-gratia from the Consolidated Fund rather than IGF.
He would also set up a robust welfare fund through the allocation of 10 percent of members’ dues to the scheme, as well as advocate for by-election for assembly members, who were either dismissed or no more at the assemblies.
The NALAG President, who is also the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) Chief Executive, stressed that remuneration and End of Service Benefits of members had been an albatross hanging on the neck of the Association.
“I took a firm position at my assembly (TMA) as I have instituted a monthly payment system for assembly members”.
Mr. Mensah Nii Annan-LA, who is also the second Vice President of Trans-border Decentralisation Co-operation, said for the Association to take its rightful place as a leader in local governance and decentralisation, he has to push for better conditions that would be appreciated by members.
The President of NALAG, who is also a Board Member of Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), said working with these international institutions has encouraged him to work hard to take the Association from where it is now, to higher heights.
He said when given the opportunity to serve the second time, it would enable him to build a solid and resilient NALAG, responding efficiently to its core mandate, adding that vigorous training and capacity building of members to equip them with the requisite skills to discharge their duties and be relevant even after their term of office as honourable members through certificate courses at relevant institutions would be carried out.
Mr. Mensah Nii Annan-LA observed that the core mandate of NALAG was the promotion and development of good local government administration and decentralisation to give meaning to quality local government administration through advocacy, research, public education, partnership with local, national and international actors, with similar aspirations, while protecting the interest of its members.