Ashanti Region has highest number of MMDA’s operating without by-laws
The report found that 26 out of the 43 MMDAs in the Region operate without by-laws, the highest among the 16 regions surveyed.
A new report by the Dennislaw Research Desk shows that Ashanti Region has the highest number of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) operating without by-laws.
The report titled the 2021 Status of By-laws in Ghana, found that 26 out of the 43 MMDAs in the region operate without by-laws, the highest among the 16 regions surveyed.
These MMDA’s are Adansi Asokwa, Afigya-Kwabre North, Afigya-Kwabre South, Ahafo-Ano North Municipal, Ahafo-Ano South East, Ahafo-Ano South West, Amansie South, Asokwa Municipal, Atwima-Nwabiagya North, Bekwai Municipal, Bosome Freho, Juaben Municipal, and Kwabre East.
The rest are, Kwadaso Municipal, Obuasi Municipal, Old Tafo, Sekyere Central, Sekyere East, Sekyere South, Adansi North, Adansi South, Afigya-Kwabre, Asante-Akim Central, Ejura/Sekyedumase, Offinso Municipal and Suame.
The report sought to examine the level of compliance among MMDA’s with the provision of section 182 of the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936).
Section 182 of the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936), imposes a strict procedural regime on all MMDAs to adopt by-laws for their operation. It states that;
1) Every by-law made by a District Assembly shall be submitted to the Regional Coordinating Council.
(2) The Regional Co-ordinating Council shall ensure that the by-law is consistent with this Act or any other enactment.
(3) Where the Regional Co-ordinating Council
(a) rejects the by-law, the Regional Co-ordinating Council shall notify the District Assembly giving reasons for the rejection; or
(b) approves the by-law, the Regional Co-ordinating Council shall cause the by-law to be published.
Sub-Section 4 makes a very important and striking demand of the MMDAs which is that;
(4) A by-law shall not have effect until the by-law has been
(a) posted on the premises of the District Assembly concerned and in at least one other public place within the district, and
(b) published in a daily newspaper of national circulation or in the Gazette.
“However, per the strict requirement of Section 182 of the Local Government Act, 2016(Act 936), these MMDAs were not considered to have valid by-laws because draft by-laws are by-laws that even though have been accepted by their local Assemblies and received approval from the Regional Coordinating Council, are yet to be gazetted or published,” the reported indicated.
Generally, out of the total 261 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana, only 106 representing 41 per cent have by-laws, leaving a chunk of 155 which makes up some 59 per cent operating without by-laws.
Local assemblies in Ghana are responsible for the overall development of their respective districts. These functions include the promotion of economic development, basic education, public health, environmental protection, sanitation, and the improvement and management of human settlements.
“A major contributor to this success is the presence of by-laws governing this wide range of activities within the assemblies,” the report noted.
It further recommends among others that stakeholders and agencies should consolidate efforts to ensure compliance among local authorities.
It also recommends that the Regional Coordinating Council and the MMDA’s should employ the services of experts in the drafting of by-laws, to ensure their legitimacy and compliance with existing constitutional and statutory laws and principles.