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At the first town-hall meeting in Tamale, residents quiz city leaders on a variety of issues.



His decision a few months ago to rid the principal streets of Tamale of street hawkers and petty traders frayed a lot of  nerves. Some felt the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly Chief Executive, Mr. Iddrisu Musah Superior, had gone too far, and his measures too harsh.

To soothe aggrieved residents of the city, Mr. “Superior” has urged calm, saying that: “Any decision we take is in the interest of you the citizens.” He called on all angry residents who in one way or other were affected by his decongestion plan to consider the exercise as a move to maintain the city and nothing personal.

“The task force mandated to monitor the aftermath of the exercise is still around and I know some have tried coming back to hawk on the streets and pedestrians walkways but the assembly will not hesitate to resist it,” the determined mayor added.

Mr Superior was addressing The city’s maiden Town Hall meeting with residents and stakeholders to deliberate towards uplifting the city.

The meeting was to enable the assembly collate citizens views on certain developmental issues being embarked upon by the assembly and government.

The meeting which focused on eight thematic areas — economic, infrastructure, roads, housing, health, water and governance — offered heads of decentralization departments the opportunity to explain to the people what they have been doing.

Mr. Musah Superior explained further that the whole idea behind the Town Hall meeting was to make citizens aware of the promises the ruling NPP government made during the campaign and how far those promises have come. Government under Nana Addo, the mayor added, wants to decentralize decision making by bringing parliament to the local level. What is more, it was an opportunity for residents to register their concerns in areas that they think should be getting more attention from city authorities and government.

The mayor who represented the Information Minister, Mr. Mustapha Hamid, told residents that government has removed taxes from mosques and churches in the country.
Government, according to the information minister is focusing on production rather than taxing the citizens.

Taxes on the various domestic airlines in the country he said has also been scrapped to enable businesses to flourish.

Presenting the progress of development and government policies in the Tamale metropolis, Mr. Musah Superior urged residents to check their monthly electricity bills well because government has removed some taxes on it.

Touching on agriculture, Mr Superior said 1,200 has been recruited under the planting for food and jobs program. Fifty-three thousand (53 000 ) metric tones of fertilizer have been imported to assist farmers to purchase for their crops.

Government, he explained, is ready to provide financial assistance to residents with convincing proposals on a shea butter factory in the region. Over 800 communities yet to be connected to the national electricity grid will be connected, he announced.

Participants at the meeting quizzed the mayor on the filthy nature of the city, his one month trip to the United States, the state of Tamale market among others. They also demanded that current government continue with the projects began by the past administration.

On the recent flooding situation that hit Tamale and its environs, participants want city authorities to get a central sewage system to avert future flooding.

Mayor’s response
He commended residents for raising critical issues that inured to the benefit of the city and assured them that his outfit with the blessings from the seat of government will address those issues.

On his trip to the United States, he said the trip will definitely yield fruits because the team met investors and some indigenes from Tamale who express their willingness to help develop the city.

NCCE director
The northern regional director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Alhaji Abdul Razak Saani who chaired the meeting said participation of citizens in deliberations of national issues is key in democracy and encourage citizens to always bring out issues affecting them. He urged residents to also criticize officialdom on developmental issues constructively.

Northern regional minister
Mr Salifu Saeed, the northern regional minister said government under Nana Addo promised Ghanaians good governance and town hall meetings are geared at providing opportunities for citizens.

To this end, all the 26 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs ) in the region are expected to hold town hall meetings in their respective areas to let citizens know what the government is doing.

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