Veep launches street naming policy … Implores assemblies to go into full implementation
By: Simmons Yussif Kewura, Kumasi
The Vice President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to immediately implement the National Policy Document and Operational Guidelines on street naming and property addressing systems for Ghana, as there was no excuse for them to delay.
The Vice President noted that the assemblies were previously delaying street naming because there was no clear policy guiding them, and chose to do their own thing.
He urged them to go all out to ensure the success of the programme, since the policy for this purpose was out.
Mr. Mahama, who was launching the policy document on street naming in Kumasi over the weekend, said the launch of the document was yet another milestone of the ruling party’s campaign promise, as the national Democratic Congress (NDC), in its electioneering campaign, assured Ghanaians that when voted into office, it would name all streets and see to the identification of properties in the country.
He said: “I believe if we were to be marked today, we would be given 50% for the successful launch of the policy framework,” adding that by the close of the year, all major cities and towns would have their streets named.
The Vice President noted that even in some disorderly cities elsewhere, they had proper street naming, and this made it easier for one to locate any house he or she was looking for.
He advised managers of the major cities like Accra, Tema, Takoradi, Kumasi, and Tamale, to go a step further by putting up a digital map of streets and houses for the development of software that could easily be accessed on a computer for the exact locations of houses and places.
Apart from putting houses on a digital map, the Vice President also wants digital maps for all properties to be developed for easier evaluation and tax collection purposes.
He also called for a data base on all properties to be compiled by the various districts. This, he said, could enhance revenue collection for the assemblies and Internal Revenue Service.
Giving an overview of the policy document, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said currently, there was no accurate spatial reference for the identification of properties, and that the street naming and property addressing system cannot be overlooked
According to Ampofo, the effective system of streets naming and property addresses helps better targeting and service delivery to citizens, and facilitates the effective management of public facilities.
He said the effective implementation of the document would help to improve the quality of life in a community and business environment.
The Minister disclosed that in an attempt to implement street naming and property addresses, the assemblies had adopted different approaches, which, he said, had the potential to confuse the public.
The sector minister added that the adoption of a piecemeal approach was due to the lack of a policy framework to guide the efforts of the assemblies, and that had led to citizens ultimately bear the cost of a poorly-designed numbering system.
According to him, the policy was expected to address the old approach and regulate street naming throughout the country.
“It is expected to improve the response of emergency services to locations of need, delivery of municipal services, increase revenue collection, and facilitate the operations of businesses,” the sector minister said.
The Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who chaired the launch, said the street naming and identification of properties were long overdue, advising Ghanaians not to attach any political connotation to the exercise, as Ghana had reached a stage where it needs proper street naming.
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