Joseph Korto, the National Dean of Presiding Members, has continued his campaign for the betterment of presiding Members by requesting for secretariat’s with supporting staff.
Addressing a conference of Presiding members in, Kumasi on Friday, Mr Korto said that the lack of research assistants for presiding Members was a reason many may be constrained to perform under par.
“The lack of supporting staff for presiding Members means we are constrained to be jacks of all trade, and we all know, jacks of all trade are usually masters of none. In the circumstance, Local Governance is what ultimately suffers.“I, on behalf of all Presiding Members across the country would therefore humbly request for a new thinking towards the work and duties of the Assembly, a new thinking that facilitates the work of the presiding member because he or she has the needed supporting staff to complement his efforts.”
Mr Korto, who is also the Greater Accra Regional Dean of Presiding Members and the Presiding Member of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly pointed out that the need for accessory staff for Members was reflected in the fact that at the national level, elected officeholders such as MPs, had supporting staff. “So if our MPs, who work in the legislature as representatives of their people require research assistants to enable them function effectively, how much more presiding Members who carry the local government on their shoulders?”
Mr Korto also decried the conditions of service of Assembly Members saying their paltry sitting allowance was woefully inadequate. “We do not have official vehicles for our work, for instance and this is strange.”
The National Dean, who is also the longest serving Assembly Member in the country encouraged Assembly Members not to be crest-fallen and that the leadership was fighting hard to ensure that their conditions of service were improved.
He asked them to continue to be innovative, suggesting that Assemblies also reinstituted the sub-metropolitan Assembly or town council system to effectively fight the culture of environmental waste.
He applauded private waste management company, ZoomLion for a yeoman’s job but requested that there be collaborations with presiding members in the task of waste management.
“With the separate effectiveness of Presiding Members, even with our scant resources, and the phenomenal work that ZoomLion is doing, a collaboration will only be mutually facilitating for both of us; I suggest that we start with a training workshop on waste management so that ZoomLion can refresh us on the new trends in their area of operation.”
They praised their Regional Dean, Isaac Ohemeng-Pempeh, for organizing a successful conference and thanked the National Dean, Mr. Joseph Korto, for his effective leadership.
The three-day conference, which was chaired by Nana Dr. Appiaagyei Dankawoso, Omanhene Kyeame of Ashanti Juaben traditional area and the president of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was hosted by the Ashanti Regional Dean of Presiding members, Mr. Isaac Ohemeng Prempeh, with PMs from almost all the 43 Assemblies in the Ashanti Region in Attendance.
The Chairman of the Council of State, Daasebere Nana Otuo Siriboe II, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, the council of State Member for the region, Nana Owusu Achiaw and the regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi, were presented with citations.
Mr. Frederick Agyarko Oduro, a local governance expert from the Institute of Local Government studies gave the hardworking PMs a lecture.
The NALAG President, Mr. Bismark Baisie Inkum, MMDCE’s Dean of the Ashanti Region, Mr. Joseph Owusu and Nana Opoku Ababio, deputy director of the Ashanti regional coordinating council were also in attendance