Powers Of Presiding Members Gradually Eroding-Alfred Agyei
Presiding Member of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr. Alfred Asiedu Agyei (Paa Joe) has expressed concerns about the fact that the powers legally vested in Presiding Members of the Assemblies are gradually being scrapped.
Hon Alfred Asiedu Agyei who is the Assemblyman for Avenor Electoral Area in the Okaikoi South Constituency and who is contesting for the President of the upcoming National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) elections is afraid that Presiding Members will soon be rendered powerless if the association sits unconcerned.
“As Presiding Member, you are the mouthpiece of the Assembly; Speaker of the Assembly. Being the mouthpiece of the Assembly, you need certain powers to make you effective”.
Speaking on the Nkwantananso Show on Opemsuo Radio with George Opoku Mensah (Agudey), he said the Presiding Member is no longer the Chairperson of the Audit Committee of the various Assemblies unlike it used to be following the review of the Legislative Instrument. He enlisted some of the challenges Presiding Members are currently going through which require urgent attention.
“Now every two years, they review the Legislative Instrument. Now in the previous LI, the Presiding Member was the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Assembly; unfortunately, the Presiding Member has been removed from the Chairmanship position and made just a member of the Audit Committee”, he indicated.
He says various reviews have resulted in the gradual reduction of the powers of the Presiding Member. “Let me say this for a fact, in those days, when the government is about releasing the Common Fund, the Presiding Member is served prior notice but today it is not the case after a review of the L.I”.
According to him, some Presiding Members in some Assemblies do not have offices as a result they operate under trees and other hardship conditions, a situation he describes as very unfortunate.
Alfred Asiedu Agyei (Paa Joe), the NALAG National President hopeful, wants the leadership of the group to be proactive and rise against any attempt to make Assembly Members particularly Presiding Members powerless.
“The question is, where was NALAG when all these were reviewed to the disadvantage of the Presiding Member?”, he quizzed.
Source: Opemsuo.com/ Kwabena Kyeremateng Addo