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Penalty for Ineffective Local Councils

26,Jul 2018
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By Max A. Konneh

Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has reiterated   government‘s commitment to provide the required support to policies that lead to positive transformation of the Decentralization Process. Addressing Mayors, Chairpersons, Paramount Chiefs and Councilors at a two – day meeting organized by his office and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development at the Bo City Council, the Vice President described the forum as the first step in ensuring that local councils are empowered to carry out their mandate effectively. He expressed the need to assess the current status of the decentralization process, identify key development priorities and how they can be aligned to national development agenda.

Also, major challenges that affect the delivery of such priorities and working together to identify and develop strategies to enhance service delivery by local councils would be looked into.

He said he is of firm conviction that, if the decentralization process is to play its role as envisaged in the New Direction agenda and deliver the much-anticipated turn around the masses are expecting, then the political leadership of local councils must perform their duties religiously and effectively or face the consequences.

The Vice President expressed government’s desire to ensure that the devolution process is completed, human resource capacity, logistics and other challenges addressed. The Vice President also spoke of progress made by the decentralization programme in the last fourteen years and recognized and thanked development partners including the World Bank, UNDP, DFID, EU and JICA for their continued support.

He disclosed plans to organize a meeting in Freetown, involving key technical experts, development partners and MDAs with a view to taking steps in addressing their priorities and challenges.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Anthony Brewah said as the “core drivers” of decentralization, the Local Government and Rural Government Ministry has been engaged in open and frank discussions to strengthen the country’s decentralization programme.

He further said in the last three months, the ministry triggered actions in various areas including the review of the National Decentralization Policy and Local Government Act 2004. He added that the ministry had also done orientation and induction of newly-elected mayors, chairmen and councilors and educated them on their respective roles and responsibilities.

He re-echoed Vice President Jalloh’s earlier warning to local council authorities to ensure they play their part by supporting the decentralization process in its entirety.

Mr. Brewah encouraged local council authorities to play their different roles as outlined in the New Direction agenda so that they would deliver on the much-anticipated turn-around the masses are expecting; while not forgetting that the political leadership of local councils must perform their duties religiously and effectively or face the consequences.

Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa in his brief remarks expressed government’s determination to provide the necessary financial and material support that would enable local councils work effectively. He admonished local council authorities to be prudent in managing their finances as they will be held accountable.

Presentations were also made at the auspicious occasion by the Director of Decentralization, Alhassan Kanu, Director of Local Government Department, Adams Kargbo, Mayor of Makeni City, Madam Sunkarie Kabba Kamara and the acting Director of Fisheries, Josephus Mamie respectively.

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