Opinion » Blog » September 2012 » KNED 2nd Ordinary Meeting for 2012

11 Sep

It gives me great pleasure to perform this obligatory duty required of me once again to this august house. Indeed, it is my pleasure to address the Second Ordinary Meeting of this Assembly for the year 2012. Permit me to join the Honourable Presiding member to welcome all of you to the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly.


SESSIONAL ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE
HON. MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE KASSENA NANKANA MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY, MR EMMANUEL ANDEMA AT THE 2ND ORDINARY MEETING FOR 2012 HELD ON WEDNESDAY 5TH AND THURSDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER 2012 IN THE
MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY CONFERENCE HALL
 
Honourable Presiding Member,
Honourable Member of Parliament,
Honourable Members of the Assembly,
Heads of Departments and Partner Organizations,
Members of the Press,
Distinguished Invited Guest,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to perform this obligatory duty required of me once again to this august house. Indeed, it is my pleasure to address the Second Ordinary Meeting of this Assembly for the year 2012. Permit me to join the Honourable Presiding member to welcome all of you to the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly.
Hon. Members, let me first and foremost apologize to this august house for the Assembly’s inability to hold this meeting on time. It was due to ill health on my part.
Hon. Presiding member, as required of me, I shall in my address, be providing you with updates on the development programmes of the Assembly in the areas of Education, Health, Agriculture, Water and Sanitation, District Development Fund, Revenue performance of the Assembly and other sector programmes.
I shall also present to you, the recommendations of the Executive Committee of the Assembly for consideration and endorsement.

UPGRADING OF STATUS OF THE ASSEMBLY
Honourable Presiding member, Honourable Members, it is most gratifying for me to inform you that the government through Parliament has up-graded our Assembly to the status of a Municipality. This follows the passage of L.I 2106 by parliament this year. Our Assembly is now to be called and known as the Kassena Nankana Municipal Assembly. Honourable members, we should all be happy and grateful to the government for this gesture. The benefits of becoming a Municipality are enormous as the Assembly now stands to receive municipal grants to support its development agenda. Government transfers to the Departments of the Municipality would also increase. The result of all this would be that, the Municipality would witness an increased developmental activity from now on.
 
EDUCATION
Hon. Presiding Member, education is still the key that unlocks the door to development in our part of the country. As such both the national and municipal budgets continue to make significant investments in this sector.

BECE RESULTS
Hon. Presiding Member, despite these investments the results of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) continues to be disappointing in our public basic schools.  The BECE result for the 2011/2012 academic year just released does not show any significant improvement from that of last year. The overall performance of 2010/2011 was 29.1% and that of this year has slightly increased to 29.5%.
Hon. Presiding Member, an analysis of the results shows that, out of the 34 Junior High Schools that took part in the examination in the municipality, only 7 of them obtained over 50% pass whilst the remaining 27 of the schools performed below the 50% pass mark. At the individual school level, Standard Junior High School and Sunlight Junior High School both private schools came 1st scoring 100% pass, Kogwania Junior High School came 2nd scoring 85.7% pass whiles Presby, Tono, OLL, and Namolo Schools where 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th scoring 79.4%, 67.7%, 55.6% and 53.1% respectively. All the other Junior High Schools in the Municipality fell below the average of 50% pass mark. The pass marks for Tampola, Akurugu-Daboo and Gia Junior High Schools were 5%, 4.2% and 3.6% whiles Azaasi and English/Arabic Junior High Schools scored 0% pass.
Hon. Presiding Member, it is sad to note that all Girls in Naaga, Asobayire, Biu and Tampola Junior High Schools scored 0% whiles all the Boys in Gia Junior High School also scored 0%. It is my anticipation that the strategies we are putting in place would change this situation with time.  
 
EDUCATIONAL FORUM
Hon. Presiding member, due to the poor performance in our BECE results last year, the Assembly recommended that we hold an educational forum to solicit the views of stakeholders on the way forward. Subsequently, a fifteen (15) members Technical Committee was proposed and constituted to discuss the report of the educational forum and come out with strategies and plans of action to address the challenges responsible for the falling standards in our education.
The committee concluded its sitting yesterday and would soon submit its report to the Assembly for consideration. Information I received from some of the group members are that the committee did a very marvelous work. It is therefore my anticipation that they would come out with best strategies that would help solve the problems of education in our Municipality. However, it is important that I call on all stakeholders in education to re-examine their roles and increase their participation in the management of schools to bring about effective results.
OTHER GOVERNMENT SUPPORT TO THE EDUCATIONAL SECTOR
Hon. Presiding member, as I have already intimated, central government continue to make heavy investments in the education sector of the municipality in order to improve teaching and learning. Within the year, aside classroom infrastructure various interventions were made by government in our educational sector as indicated below:
S/NO. INTERVENTION QUANTITY
1 School Uniforms 6,899
2 Exercise Books (Note One) 107,000
3 Language Books 5,444
4 Mathematics Exercise Books 2,100
5 Graph Books 1383
6 Laptop Computers 75
 
The above interventions have no doubt led to an improvement in teaching and learning in our municipality.
 
SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME
Hon. Presiding member, to further expand the Ghana School Feeding Programme and give more meaning to its objective, government has increase the number of feeding schools in the municipality from the sixteen (16) that was reported earlier to thirty (30) schools. Below are the beneficiary schools:
Manyoro, Korania, Navro-Pungu, Vunania, Naaga, Nayagnia, Doba, Nangalkinia, Azaasi, Tindama, Saboro, Pindaa, Taribisi, Gingabnia, Biu Sense, Nyangua, Yua, Punyoro, Balobia, Abenpengo, Wusungu, Gia, Kologu-Zuo, Natugnia, English/Arabic, Gaani, Bonia, Kologu, Nomolo and Gayingo primary schools.
It is my anticipation that this intervention by Government will help increased school enrolment and retention and ultimately lead to an improvement in education in our Municipality.
 
HEALTH
Hon. Presiding Member, the health sector of our Municipality will continue to receive the needed attention from the Assembly and government in our bid to make health care delivery accessible to the people. To ensure that our health institutions are properly manned to provide the needed services to the people, the Assembly will continue to sponsor Nursing Trainees in various Nursing Training Colleges in the country as recommended by this house. At the moment, the Assembly is sponsoring sixty-four (64) nursing trainees who would complete their courses of study and come back to the Municipality and serve. Honourable members, this is the only alternative way by which we can address the human resource gaps in our health sector and we would have to continue to pursue this policy.
Hon. Presiding Member, the municipality experienced severe epidemics during the course of the year. CSM hit various parts of the Region including our Municipality where ten (10) people lost their lives. This was quite an unfortunate situation. Although a lot of education went on, the CSM vaccine which is meant to protect people against the new type of CSM was not enough and was only administered to children and adults between the ages of two (2) to twenty nine (29) years.  Honourable members, CSM are now a seasonal epidemic and we have to take the lead in educating our people early enough to take preventive measures against the disease in order not to loose lives in our communities.
Also during the beginning of the rainy season, the Municipality was hit by a cholera outbreak where three (3) people lost their lives. Information we gathered from the Ministry of Health indicated that, the possible causes of the cholera was from the source of our drinking water. It is important to educate our people especially those living in the township to take hygiene seriously to safe their lives.
The Ghana Health Services during the period administered a new vaccine for pneumonia and diarrhoea to children under five (5) years. This exercise is still on, so let us educate parents in our communities to avail their children to the team when they get to their homes.
HIV/AIDS is still with us and we should as a matter of necessity observe good behavioural changes to prolong our lives. The prevalence rate according to the Ghana Health Service of the Municipality which stood at 2% has increased to 2.2%. This is very alarming. All stakeholders into HIV/AIDS in the municipality would have to redouble their efforts at reducing the epidemic.
 
AGRICULTURE
Hon. Presiding Member, the Agricultural sector is one area of our Municipality that abounds with opportunities that can be explored for enhanced growth and productivity.
Hon. Presiding member, the recovery rate of the subsidy received from the block farm programme by some farmers in the municipality is still very poor. It is sad to note that all the good intentions of government to alleviate poverty amongst our people is not yielding the intended results. The recovery rate for the last season subsidy granted to our farmers stands at 51.27%. The poor rate of recovery has affected our Municipal’s allocation for this year. This programme is suppose to last for 5 years and so we have to continue to educate our people to pay back such loans immediately after the harvest to enable them derive its full benefits.
Hon. Presiding Member, Ladies and Gentlemen, the government has re-introduced the fertilizer subsidy against all odds to improve agriculture in the country. This intervention is specifically aimed at assisting peasant farmers in our rural communities to produce above subsistence level and raise their incomes.  You will all agree with me that, if not for the government subsidy on fertilizer, farming would have been very difficult for the peasant farmer. However, it is sad to note that greed and selfishness on the part of some of us has led to the smuggling of the subsidized fertilizer to neighbouring countries thereby making our peasant farmers to suffer. As a result of that, government decided to change the open market system that was operating last year to the pass book system this year but this is still not helping the situation. Below is our Municipal allocation of fertilizer for the year and what is received so far by our agents as at the close of August.
Fertilizer Allocation Quantity Received
NPK 17,140 7,500
S/A 6,040 220
Urea 10,440 515
Total 33,620 8,235
 
Honourable members, although the municipality still has a lot of fertilizer to be allocated to it on paper, practically its allocation with the Ministry of Agriculture is completely exhausted. This is an indication that over 25,385 bags of the municipality’s allocated fertilizer is carried across the borders. In this regard, I wish to make a clarion call on all Honourable members to be vigilant and report such cases to DISEC to help us streamline the situation to enable our farmers benefit from the nation’s resources.
 
WATER AND SANITATION
Hon. PM, the provision of water facilities to most deprived communities within the Municipality is on course. As it was reported earlier, the Government of Ghana drilled some 30No. boreholes in some selected communities in the Municipality which are to be fitted with solar mechanized pumps. The trial installation of the solar pumps was successfully carried out at Doba and Tobacco Junction at Nayagnia where two of these boreholes have been drilled. It is sad to inform you that, the solar panels that were fixed to these boreholes at Doba and Tobacco Junction have been stolen. Work on the other bores is however on-going. Let me call on Hon. Assembly members to educate their people on the need to own these facilities in their communities to avoid such occurrences. The 11No. boreholes that are being provided through the Hon. Regional Minister are still on-going. Seven of these boreholes are drilled but four (4) are wet and fitted with hand pumps with the other three(3) being dry.  Some of the areas that the drilling is supposed to take place are not accessible now and thus make it difficult for the contractor to finish the work.
Hon. Assembly members, the construction of the 3No. Small Towns Water Systems for Pungu, Biu and Kologo communities in the Municipality are also underway. A contract has been awarded for feasibility studies and design of the Small Towns Water System to be carried out in these communities. When this is complete, I am hopeful that the actual construction of the water systems would be awarded on contract to take place. In connection with that, I am happy to inform you that, the Municipal Assembly has taken delivery of 4 X 4 Nissan double-decker pick-up from Community Water and Sanitation Agency to support the implementation of the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Program in the Municipality.
 
SUB- STRUCTURES OF THE ASSEMBLY
Hon. Presiding member, in fulfillment of our objective to pursue the decentralization programme to its logical conclusion, we have started to make the Town/Area Councils operational within the Municipality. In line with that, I am happy to inform you that, Urban, Town and Area Councillors have received orientation training by the Assembly to enable them function effectively. On the part of the office accommodation, the Manyoro Area Council is completed and ready for use whilst the Doba Area Council office block is at the finishing stages of completion. The Navrongo Urban Council has showed the way by holding their first meeting about a month ago. I wish to urge all other councils to try and do same.
 
DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT FUND – DDF
Hon. Presiding Member, as earlier reported during the last General Assembly Session, the Districts’ allocation of the District Development fund is being used to finance the under listed projects.
v Construction of 1 No. 6-unit classroom block at Anyagadone Primary School in Doba.
v Construction of 1 No. Area council office at Manyoro.
v Construction of 1 No. Area Council Office at Doba
v Cladding of 4 No. 3-Unit classroom blocks at Naaga, Gia and Balobia.
v Supply of 200No. Low Tension electricity poles.
 
Some of these projects are completed whilst the others are at various stages of completion.
 
FOAT ASSESSMENT
Hon. Presiding Member, government conducts an assessment on the Assemblies every year to select those that qualify to benefit from a development grant. Although, the Assemble qualified in the year 2010 assessment conducted in 2011 as was reported earlier, we are yet to receive our share of the development grant. The Assessment for the year 2011 which was to be conducted in June/July this year is yet to be carried out. I am sure that this exercise could be conducted any moment from now. I would as usual implore all scheduled officers and heads of departments to ensure that their nominal rolls, annual action plans and minutes of sub-committees of the Assembly for the year 2011 reach the Assembly’s secretariat early enough for synchronization and compilation.
 
REVENUE PERFORMANCE OF THE ASSEMBLY
Hon. Presiding member, finances continue to constitute the life wire of every organization. The Assembly is therefore leaving no stone unturned in mobilizing its locally generated revenue.  Honourable members, the revenue performance of the Assembly as at 30th June, 2012 was not impressive. Out of an estimated Internal Generated Fund (IGF) target of Two Hundred Thousand, Four Hundred (GH¢200.400.00) for the year 2012, an amount of Ninety Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty Eight Ghana Cedis, Twenty Pesewas (GH¢90,338.26) representing 45.08% of the budget estimate was collected. This figure is a little below the revenue target for the period. However, the Assembly is hopeful that the revenue target for the year will be achieved. Details of the revenue performance of the Assembly prepared to reflect the new reporting format for preparing the composite budget is as represented below:
REVENUE HEAD APPROVED BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR THE YEAR 2012 CUM. ACTUAL AS  AT 31ST JUNE 2012 VARIANCE % PERFORMANCE
property taxes 64,050.00 56,400.30 -7,649.70 88.06
property income 55,000.00 7,742.86 -47,257.14 14.08
Sales of Goods and Services 68,300.00 25,693.10 -42,606.90 37.62
Fines, Penalties and Forfeits 13,000.00 456.00 -12,544.00 3.51
miscellaneous 50 46.00 -4.00 92.00
TOTAL REVENUE (IGF) 200,400.00 90,338.26 -110,061.74 45.08
GRANTS 6,453,110.00 1,421,405.20 -5,031,704.80 22.03
TOTAL REVENUE 6,653,510.00 1,511,743.46 -5,141,766.54 22.72
 
Honourable members, the table above shows poor performance of the Assembly efforts at revenue mobilization. There is the need for us re-double our efforts at revenue generation. With just a few months to come to the close of the year, we all have to assist the Revenue Staff of the Assembly to collect our revenue. Let me urge the Finance and Administration Sub-Committee to come out with proactive strategies that would involve all of us in the revenue mobilization drive to help boost our revenue performance. Poor revenue performance by our Assembly can affect qualification in the DDF assessment and development grant now that we are a municipality.
 
EXPENDITURE PERFORMANCE FOR THE PERIOD
Hon. PM, the Assembly’s expenditure in general is far below the projected estimate for the period as indicated in the table below. Out of a total estimated expenditure of GH¢6,451,010 only GH¢1,113,942 was expended. The shortfall is basically as a result of inadequate release of funds from the Central government to finance activities of the departments of the Assembly which have been incorporated into the composite budget. There were no releases for the First and the Second Quarters to the decentralized departments for the implementation of their outlined activities in the composite budget. It is only our hope that some funds would be released before the end of the year to enable the Assembly and its departments to carry out their planned activities. The table below shows the Assembly’s expenditure and its Common Fund receipts as at 30th June, 2012.
 
EXPENDITURE HEAD APPROVED BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR THE YEAR 2012 (GH¢) CUM. ACTUAL AS AT 30ST JUNE 2012 (GH¢) VARIANCE % PERFORMANCE
COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES        
(GoG) 1,030,363 228,186.55 -802,178.45 22.15
 (IGF) 16,000.00 2,966.00 -13,034.00 18.54
goods and service 1.289,669 33,073.21 -1,265,595.79 2.54
Assets/Investment 4,114,976 849,716.89 -3,265,259.11 20.65
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 6,451,101 1,113,942.65 -5,337,067.35 17.27
 
 
RECEIPTS OF THE DISTRICT ASSEMBLY COMMON FUND
S/NO. DATE QUARTER ALLOCATION DEDUCTED AT SOURCE RECEIPTS
1 29102/12 4th Quarter 2011 249,044.57 80,197.83 168,846.74
2 18/06/12 1st Quarter 2012 180,960.52 86,919.70 94,041.45
TOTAL 430,005.09 167,117.57 558,076.68
 
 
RURAL ENTERPRISES PROJECT
Hon. Presiding member, the second phase of the Rural Enterprises Project ended in June this year. The government in collaboration with its development partners has agreed to roll on the programme over to a next phase (third phase). Districts that wish to participate in the third phase had to request and go through a certain eligibility criteria and pass before they can be considered to participate in the third phase. I am happy to inform you that, our Municipality has passed the eligibility criteria and would be participating in the third phase of the programme. It is my hope that, our participation would bring in resource to assist small and micro-scale enterprises in the Municipality to grow and create jobs and income for our people.
 
COMMON FUND PROJECTS
Hon. Presiding Member, the Assembly in 2011 rolled out certain projects and initiated some with funds from its Common Fund. The status of implementation of these projects is as follows:
The Navrongo Lorry Station
Hon. Presiding member, Honourable members, the pavement of the lorry station has reached an advanced stage now. It is our hope that the station would soon be completed to give our Municipality a benefiting lorry station. I however, have to admit that inadequate funding has been the major cause for the delay of the project.
Assembly Office Complex
Hon. Presiding member, a look of our office complex indicates that there are hopes that we may be able to put it to use before the close of the year. You will all agree with me that, this project suffered serious setbacks but thank God, it is now almost complete. Inadequate financing has also been the bane for the delay in the completion of this project.
 
NAAGA MARKET PROJECT
The Assembly constructed a 10No. Lockable stores and 20No. Stalls at Naaga to give that market a face lift and also promote economic activity in that area. This project has since been completed and handed over to the Assembly.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS
Hon. Presiding Member, the Executive Committee of the Assembly met and took a look at the reports of the various Sub-committees under it and as Chairman of the committee, I have the responsibility to present to this august house, the recommendations from the Sub-committees that were accepted by the Executive Committee for the consideration and approval of the General Assembly for implementation.
 
DEVELOPMENT PLANNING SUB-COMMITTEE
The Sub-committee recommendations that were considered by the Executive Committee are as follows:
·                    That, there is the need for Assembly members to be duly informed about development projects carried out in their electoral areas to enable them monitor the contractors to avoid shoddy works.
·                    That the Assembly should assist the Forestry Service Division to carry out educational campaigns to encourage people to plant trees this rainy season.
·                    That, the Assembly should also resource the Forestry Service Division to raise seedlings to be distributed for planting
·                    That, management should ensure that all dilapidated bungalows are renovated and rented out to earn rent.
·                    That, all Fulani Herdsmen in the Municipality should be identified, registered and taxed to generate revenue.
·                    That, efforts should be made to check fertilizer smuggling. This should include public education on the effects of smuggling on the local economy.
·                    That, the Assembly should help educate farmers to pay for inputs given to them for the block farming.
·                    That, the Assembly should expedite action on the construction of speed humps to save lives from Kandiga Junction to the TUC curve.
 
WORKS SUB-COMMITTEE
The Works Sub-committee presented a comprehensive report on the progress of projects awarded from 2010 to 2012 to the committee. The Sub-committee also made recommendations emphasizing the need to construct speed humps on the main township roads to safe lives.
 
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUB-COMMITTEE
The Sub-committee presented a comprehensive report on the revenue and expenditure situation of the Assembly and also made the following recommendations:
·                    That, management should expedite action to immediately recruit the Commission Revenue Collectors to argument the staff strength of the Revenue Staff
·                    That, action should be expedited to advertise and procure a new management to man the Assembly’s Community Centre following the abrogation of the agreement with the current occupant.
 
WOMEN AND CHILDREN SUB-COMMITTEE
Hon. Presiding Member, the recommendations of the Women and Children Sub-committee were as follows:
·                    That some logistics support should be given to them by the Assembly to undertake vigorous sensitization of teenage pregnancy. The Assembly should also support them to form virgin clubs in all the Senior High and Junior High Schools in the Municipality
·                    That, the Assembly in collaboration with the police should make efforts to keep away children from the streets during the late hours of the night.
·                    That, the Assembly should also support the committee with air time on radio to educate parents and children on the implications of such practices on the family, the Municipality and the society as a whole.
·                    That, a sensitization programme be organized with women already involved in the Wajia business on the dangers of being engaged it and solicit their concerns on the possible ways in reducing women engagement in the business.
·                    That, the Assembly should identify needy but brilliant girls engaged in the Wajia business for special assistance.
 
SOCIAL SERVICE SUB-COMMITTEE
The committee recommended that:
·                    More sale points for the subsidized fertilizer be created in the Municipality in the subsequent years to make the fertilizer more accessible to farmers.
·                    The quota system should be used for the allocation of fertilizer to farmers as a way of getting it to most farmers.
·                    Last year’s method of distributing the subsidized fertilizer to farmers is good and should be adopted and used next year.
·                    Assembly members should disseminate the information about the Gender Responsive Community Development Skills Project (GRCDP) to their people and assist staff of the department to identify vulnerable girls to benefit from the training programmes offered by the project.
·                    The Assembly should endeavour to support the department to monitor the beneficiaries of the project
·                    The Assembly should lobby with the authorities concern to increase the number of communities and expand the scope of the LEAP Programme in the Municipality
·                    That, the Assembly and Ghana Education Service should form a strong supervisory committee to supervise all schools projects in the Municipality.
 
JUSTICE AND SECURITY SUB-COMMITTEE
Hon. PM, the Sub-committee for Justice and Security Sub-Committee made the following recommendations:
·                    That, the Assembly should ensure that the police intensify their efforts at enforcing the road traffic regulations in the municipality.
·                    That, the Assembly should urge the police to ensure that all road traffic offenders are prosecuted.
·                    That, the Assembly should undertake periodic education through the local FM station on road safety issues to its public.
·                    That, the Assembly should consider offering the inmates at the Navrongo prisons with tools for the various trades to give them the opportunity to make input into the development agenda of the Assembly.
·                    That, the Assembly should assist the Ghana Fire Service to provide basic fire prevention and management training for the prevention of bush fires and other fires in the Municipality.
 
MEDIUM AND SMALL SCALE ENTERPRISE SUB-COMMITTEE
The Sub-Committee recommended that;
·                    The Assembly should employ one staff each for the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) and Rural Technology Facility (RTF) to augment their staffing situation.
·                    The Assembly should also arrange for National Service Personnel to be posted to the REP.
 
SECURITY
Hon. Presiding Member, the general security situation in the Municipality has been relatively peaceful with no serious reported cases to disturbed the peace.
However, there are some security threats at Natugnia and Akrugu Daboo areas which DISEC is handling. As community leaders we share the responsibility of maintaining and sustaining the peace we enjoy. We need to encourage one another to be mindful of our differences and the way we handle issues. Let us continue to preach the peace and make our Municipality a lovely place to stay.
 
CONCLUSION
Hon. Presiding Member, Honourable Assemblymembers, Ladies and Gentlemen, let us remind ourselves that we are the peoples chosen representatives who they have elected to discuss issues that affect them. Let us therefore discuss the issues raised in this address objectively and in the interest of the people that we are out to serve.
Whiles thanking you for your audience and patience, let me assure you of my reserve to serve the Municipality in the best of my ability backed by your support and co-operation.
May the good Lord grant us his wisdom and understanding as we progress in the session.
Thank you.
 
 

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