The Upper West Regional Ghana Association of Assembly Members is calling for a monthly allowance to be paid to assemblymen.
At a press conference on Thursday, it proposed that these allowances should be charged from the consolidated fund.
“The salaries and allowances payable and the facility available to public office holders including Members of Parliament, CEOs, the President and Vice President, District Chief Executive are disadvantageous to assembly members, making the assembly member look ordinary,” the chapter said.
The chapter also wants the emolument of presiding and assembly members charged on the consolidated fund “to pave the way for adequate remuneration.”
To achieve this, it suggested that Parliament should revisit the article 250, clauses 1 and 2 of the 1992 constitution and section 11(2) of the Local Governance Act 2016, Act 936.
Among other proposals, the chapter called for the establishment of an electoral area development fund to be drawn from the district assembly common fund and motorbikes for all assembly members.
“We are by this reminding the local government ministry of the promise made to assembly members when the ministry promised to create assembly members’ development fund. This initiative, if implemented, will not only save assembly members from using their own resources to finance community activities, but it will also ease the pressure on MPs and enhance rapid development,” the association stated.
Find below the full statement
PRESS CONFERENCE ORGANISED BY THE GHANA ASSOCIATION OF ASSEMBLY MEMBERS-GAAM, UPPER WEST CHAPTER-18TH AUGUST, 2021
In the unity, solidarity and interest of all assembly members in Ghana and in the Upper West Region, GAAM brings you all warmest greetings.
The Ghana Association of Assembly Members-GAAM is a non-partisan group of assembly members across the 16 regions of Ghana. The association is registered with the Registrar General’s Department of Ghana and possesses all valid documents required by law to operate. The association has about 85% coverage of elected assembly members in the country.
GAAM is not sponsored by any political party*
GAAM seeks for the necessary constitutional amendments for the welfare of all assembly members in Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, our main aim of gathering here is about the welfare of all assembly members in the Upper West Region and the many thousands in Ghana.
The plight of Assembly Members has not been considered as important for long.
The Upper West Regional chapter of GAAM unanimously agreed on the following:
- The Emolument of presiding and assembly members should be charged on the consolidated funds to pave way for adequate remuneration. To achieve this, parliament should revisit the article 250 clause 1&2 of the 1992 constitution and section 11(2) of the local governance act 2016, act 936-which states in part that ‘THE EMOLUMENT OF THE DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE’ of the district shall be determined by parliament, clause 2 of the same section states that the presiding member of a district assembly and other members of the district shall be determined by the district and paid out of the district assemblies own internal resources. GAAM entreat hon. members of parliament to amend this portion of the law and in case of entrenchment, an immediate referendum should be carried out to ensure that the welfare of honourable members is assured. This is because most assemblies have no supporting resources that they can depend on to even pay sitting allowance to talk of emolument.
Without amending this clause, the question is how will the mushroom and smaller district assemblies get resources to finance activities of the assembly members? There will be perpetual indebtedness on district assemblies.
ELECTORAL AREA DEVELOPMENT FUND
- Again, GAAM proposes for the establishment of an ELECTORAL AREA DEVELOPMENT FUND for assembly members. This should be drawn from the district assembly common fund. A law should be enacted to enable the assembly members to carry out minor developmental projects with strict auditing, supervision carried out by the district technocrats. Members of parliament as law-making entity should be the guiding principle in drumming home this concern. If this is done, the pressure on hon. members will be reduced and the grassroots will live in harmony with assembly members and the Member of Parliament.
PROVISION OF ALLOWANCE
- There should be the provision of allowances as a monthly stimulus, which should be charged on the consolidated fund. If this is done, the pressure on assemblies will be reduced. The salaries and allowances payable and the facility available to public office holders including members of parliament, CEOs, the president and vice president, district chief executive are disadvantageous to hon. assembly members, making the assembly member look ORDINARY.
MEANS OF TRANSPORT
- The means of transport i.e. the motorbikes for all assembly members should be promptly given to all assembly members. The association in the Upper West Region and the country at large stand united and will vehemently reject any inferior motorbikes if given to us without due consultation. GAAM appreciates Ghana’s government desire to providing means of transport for all assembly members over the years however, we are calling for strong and durable motorbikes.
We have gathered here today to draw the nation’s attention to the fact that it is high time government and for that matter parliament reconsider constitutional amendment on clause 250 and its sections or pass an act of parliament to favour Hon. Assembly members and their electoral areas.
We are by this reminding the local government ministry of the promise made to assembly members when the ministry promised to create assembly members’ development fund. This initiative if implemented will not only save assembly members from using their own resources to finance community activities, but it will also ease the pressure on M.Ps and enhance rapid development.
We are also calling on all Members of Parliament to support this call from assembly members and help make the necessary amendment in the constitution. M.Ps should not overlook the important roles assembly members play. Most of our M.Ps have been assembly members before and they have encountered these challenges before, but surprisingly, nothing is being done to lessen this burden on assembly members.
None of the best architects can build a strong house by first putting up the roof before the foundation works, such a house cannot stand the test of time. Unfortunately, this is how the country has been running since independence. LASTLY, GAAM AND ITS MEMBERSHIP ACROSS THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF THIS COUNTRY WOULD WANT TO ASSURE THE GOVERNMENT THAT WE WOULD WORK TO ENSURE GOOD POLICY FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION THAT SEEKS TO ENSURE THE VISION OF ANY SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENT THAT CARES FOR THE WELL-BEING OF ASSEMBLY MEMBERS.
GAAM, THEREFORE WISH TO ASSURE THE GOVERNMENT THAT SHOULD THE NEEDS OF ITS MEMBERS BE RELEGATED OR TRASHED AWAY, WE WOULD HAVE NO OPTION THAN TO ADVISE OUR MEMBERSHIP.
THANK YOU TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES FOR CONSTANTLY STAYING WITH GAAM.
TOGETHER WE CAN ACHIEVE A BETTER NATION.
HON. EBENEZER NABIEBAKYE: PRESIDENT-GAAM, U/W/R CHAPTER
HON. GERVASE DOGKOTENGE: VICE PRESIDENT
HON. JIKPWE KUBUGU MOHAMMED: PRO-GAAM U/W/R
HON. AWULA JAMES NUBAZIAH: INTERNATIONAL RELATION OFFICER
HON. NINFAAZUMA BENEDICT: DEPUTY SECRETARY
HON. GIZUURE YUSSIF ABDULAH: COORDINATING SECRETARY
HON. JERRY JOHN IBU: RESEARCH OFFICER
HON. MOSES KYETONG: ORGANIZER
HON. VIVIAN BEYUO: WOMEN ORGANISER
HON. GUNDA TANYE: TREASURER
HON. MUMUNI SIDIK: SECRETARY