member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, has said MPs are not agents of development in the local governance structure, urging Ghanaians not to expect much from them.
Rather, he wants Ghanaians to hold the government’s representatives such as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Execuytives (MMDCEs) acountable for the development projects they expect in their locality.
Speaking on Morning Update on TV XYZ, Mr Mohammed said MPs “are legislators” who represent their people and make laws.
“Whether we like it or not, MPs have been seen, unfortunately, as agents of development. Unfortunately, thats how most Ghanaians see us.”
“Our role is not to develop, our role is to legislate; our role as Members of Parliament is to serve as a link between the government and the people; as a representative of the people tailoring the aspirations and views of the people on critical national issues,” Mohammed explained.
He added that the perception that MPs should be held accountable for the lack of development in their areas was so because of some messages the MPs and candidates give to the people, adding that they can’t be be blamed for that since mostly they champion the promises of their respective parties.
The legilstor said his background has made him aware of the development gaps in some rural areas especially in the five regions of the north hence the pressure on MPs to initiate certain projects.
To him, the government should focus on the less endowed districts and channel more funds to bridge the development gap between them and trhe much endowed ones that are able to generate funds internally for their projects.
He suggested that Some Metropolitan Assemblies should not benefit from the Common Fund so that unprivileged districts can have enough funds from the government to sanction development projects.
“I think from my professional background as a planner…I’ll advocate that Municipal, and Metropolitan Assemblies should be taken off the Common Fund completely. Tamale Accra, Tema, Tamale, Kumasi…Most of them have the capacity to geneerate funds internally [but] there are some District Assemblies that cannot generate any fund internally. The only place they can generate fund is on market day. How many markets do they have? ” he said.
He said when that happens, most districts that are struggling to generate funds for themselves can have enough money for their projects so that MPs can focus on their legislative duties and champion the aspirations of their constituencies.