Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, the Upper West Regional Minister, has urged Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) to learn and adopt good leadership skills in order to effectively manage huge resources under their jurisdictions.
“The call has become necessary because MDCEs in the Region have huge resources to manage on behalf of their constituents.
“The assemblies have to also contend with large force of citizens who require to be offered the opportunity to participate in the governance process and a vast human resource that form the decentralized administration process.”
Alhaji Alhassan made the call in a speech read on his behalf by Alhaji Abubakar Abdulai, the Regional Coordinating Director during an opening session of Executive Training Programme for MDCEs in Wa.
The chiefs and opinion leaders, he noted, were also yearning to be given space and voice in the District Assembly system.
He advised the MDCEs to learn to maintain a healthy relationship with their Members of Parliament (MP), manage a barrage of requests from communities and also address political party concerns.
In the midst of those challenges, he said, the Assemblies were also cash-strapped coupled with poor local resource base.
Donor funding and the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) targeted at certain interventions, he said, could not be used for their interventions.
Despite the challenges facing the assemblies, he said, the MDCEs were not required to be experts in local governance and decentralization, and questioned how then would a MDCE be able to cope in the midst of all these challenges?
He noted that good leadership skills remained the most important ingredient the MDCEs needed to be able to provide inspirational leadership to all categories of people.
He said every person within their areas had a stake in the Assembly system and diverse interests too, and cautioned that the interests if not well managed could strain relationships leading to protracted disagreements that some Assemblies had witnessed before.
Alhaji Alhassan therefore stressed that successful MDCEs needed to have Conflict Management and Resolution Skills.
It was critical for MDCEs to be team players and possess the ability to lead a crusade for local resource mobilization to reduce over dependence on external funding, he said.
It emerged the orientation organized for the MDCEs on their assumption of office were not enough to enable them address the plethora of issues that confronted the assemblies.
This, Alhaji Alhassan said underscored the need for the training organized by the Institute of Local Government Studies.