Local Government Minister can’t determine assembly members’ emoluments – ChaLoG

The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has stated that the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development does not have the power to determine the end-of-service emoluments to be paid to assembly members. This was in a statement signed by the ChaLoG President, executive secretary, and public relations officer and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA). It said the chamber had become aware of a letter purportedly written and signed for and on behalf of the Local Government Minister by the Chief Director of the Ministry, directing the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to determine the payment of emoluments to the assembly members whose tenure ended in 2023 within the proposed amounts of GHs 3000, 2500, and 2,000, respectively, for metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies. 'ChaLoG wishes to state without any fear of contradiction that the said directive from the Minister to the MMDAs is an outright illegality and should be withdrawn forthwith.' It added that the minister was not clothed with the power to direct any MMDA on the allowances and emoluments paid to the presiding member and assembly members when they are in active service or not. The chamber stated that the MMDAs, to which the directive was directed, are all legally constituted and still clothed with the power to, on their own, determine the emoluments and allowances of sitting and past assembly members. It indicated that Section 11(2) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 Act (936) states that 'the emoluments of a Presiding Member of a District Assembly and other members of the District Assembly shall be determined by the District Assembly and paid out of the District Assembly's own resources.' ChaLoG therefore called on the minister to, with immediate effect, withdraw the said letter, which it stressed was illegal and a serious affront to the concept of local governance and decentralisation. 'The Minister should know or ought to have known that this uninformed directive is tantamount to usurping the power and aut hority of the MMDAs to determine their own allowances and emoluments, which no doubt flies in the face of Section 11(2) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 Act (936),' it added. Source: Ghana News Agency