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As Kenema Council, others receive awards…

FCC Mayor disappointed

April 15, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi

Mayor of the Freetown City Council (FCC), Franklyn Bode Gibson, was yesterday left disappointed as local councils in Bo, Makeni, Tonkolili, Kambia, Kenema, Bonthe and many others were awarded for their fantastic performance, while the FCC was totally ignored.

The awards ceremony was organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Decentralization Secretariat to honour Council Chairmen and Mayors for their good stewardship in their respective councils. But Mayor Gibson could only pay homage to his colleagues who performed well in office during the past year as the Freetown City Council was rated to have performed poorly.

“I am pleased with the good work of colleague councilors from other parts of the country. We will not have been here without hard work,” said the Freetown Mayor.

Giving an overview of the awards, Director of Decentralization Secretariat, Alhassan J. Kanu, said certain benchmarks, including financial management, functional management and development planning, project implementation, budgeting and accounting, transparency, and agricultural development, were taken into consideration, adding that the survey was conducted in the 2013 and 2014 financial year but were unable to launch the report on performance assessment among local councils as a result of the Ebola outbreak.

Kanu said a special tool was employed over the years to gauge the performance of local councils and to enhance capacity building in councils, noting that though none of the councils performed miserably yet a number of councils performed extremely well.

Kenema, Bo and Makeni city councils were those who took pole positions in transparency and accountability in the management of their resources, while functional capacity of local councils was scooped by Bo, Kenema, Pujehun, Koinadugu, Kono, among others. The Kenema City Council exclusively won the category of fiscal capacity and local revenue generation, including agricultural development.

“Overall performance measures were won by Tonkolili, Port Loko, Bo and Kenema with 5th positions respectively,” Kanu said.

Deputy Minister of Local Government, Hadiru Kalokoh, said the event was significant in deepening and strengthening the decentralization process, adding that decentralization was critical to the effective transformation of the economy and the establishment of peace, stability and sustainable development in various communities.

He noted that a lot of progress has been made towards the effective implementation of decentralization programmes.

Government, he said, has shown a demonstration of its conviction of promoting good governance, democracy, inclusiveness, accountability, transparency, developing local economies and improving service delivery in rural communities in the past seven years.

Kanu pointed out that low revenue generation capacities of local councils which cause them to be heavily reliant on the central government for both administrative and development activities, was a cause for concern.

He said the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Decentralization needs to function more effectively to ensure timely government intervention in addressing challenges and emerging issues.

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