Pay Us Our Ex-Gratia; Assembly members

August 19, 2021 By 0 Comments

The immediate past assembly members in the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality in the Eastern region have called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD)  to immediately pay them their ex-gratia.

According to the Assembly members some of who are still serving in the current assembly,  per the directive from MLGRD, Metropolitans, Municipalities and Districts (MMD) are supposed to pay Assembly Members GHS2,000 GHS1,500 and GHS1,000 as their ex-gratia.

They explained that some Assemblies across the country still owe Assembly Members two years after their tenure of office, a situation they described as gross disrespect to them and their office.

Addressing a press conference at the forecourt of the Assembly on Tuesday, the spokesperson for the aggrieved Assembly members, Eric Opoku Agyemang, indicated that whilst the government sleeps on their ex-gratia, a committee was put in place to work out the exgratia of former Members of Parliament (MPs).

He threatened that if the Assemblies do not pay all outstanding amounts owed to the Assembly Members, government nominees for the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) would not be confirmed.

They argued that, Assembly members are to be paid monthly salaries or allowances, if not we would not vote to confirm any Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s).

They noted that they would be motivated to work effectively and efficiently to ensure development at various electoral areas if they are to receive monthly allowances.

The spokesperson, who is also the Assemblyman for Canary Electoral Area, continued that the National Association of Local Authorities Ghana (NALAG) has failed to look after assembly members’ well-being.

Agyemang hinted that, “despite the fact that our work is self-sacrificing, the government should take responsibility for addressing our welfare issues, which are within our rights, and for assisting us in our work and ensuring development in our individual electoral areas”.

The Canary Electoral Area Assembly man stressed that, Assembly members play important roles at the local level, which have to be acknowledged and treated with the same respect as MPs.

To acknowledge and treat Assembly members with the same respect as MPs, the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Assembly members have proposed the creation of an Electoral Area Development/Common Fund, which would be funded by a 5% reduction in the District Assembly Common Fund.

This would enable elected Assembly Members to access the fund to undertake minor development projects including, patching of potholes, re-roofing of classrooms, clearing of gutters, repairs of streetlights and other emergency matters.

“Assembly members are always invited to ceremonies within their communities while problems like street bulbs and others are also a burden on us.”

They further mentioned that, “the practice of awarding motorbikes to assembly members every four years as a token of thanks must be discontinued because we deserve better. It should be given out as soon as a member of the assembly begins his or her duties”.

We also want the government to keep distributing the motorcycles it has purchased for Assembly Members and to assist us in obtaining cars on a tax-free basis to aid us with our duties.