of the Kerewan Area Council on Monday appeared before Public Accounts Committee
and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/ PEC) of the National Assembly under the
Select Committee on Regional Government and Lands, to present the council 2015/
2016 activity report.
Abdoulie Khan, director of finance, Kerewan Area Council, who presented the report said Kerewan Area Council has through experience resolved that local solutions to local problems can only be effectively solved through stakeholder participation with the communities taking lead role.
He said the annual report therefore is important as it reflects the council’s achievements, and constrains as well as problems of the beneficiary communities encountered in the past year 2014.
The finance director told deputies that these problems are major constraints that affect the implementation of projects and programmes and they include the need to strengthen the council’s manpower capacity especially at the middle or senior management levels through appropriate trainings, inadequate staff strength in terms of quality, mobility, particularly in the day to day coordination and supervisory functions.
Khan said the main goal of Kerewan Area Council is to build institutional capacity to enable it to fulfill its mandate as the primary facilitator of development in the North Bank Region. That way, he said, it can implement the projects outlined with the aim of council dramatically raising the standards of living for its taxpayers.
According to Khan, the main framework of all future project plans will focus directives for infrastructure and social development, noting that the ultimate aim is to assist council’s administration to improve its human resource capabilities, tighten overheads, and become a stronger and more effective organisation.
The council’s finance director told deputies that the adoption of the 2002 Local Government Act heralded in a new era of greater accountability, decentralisation and citizenry participation in development programming and planning. “This was further reinforced by the adoption and implementation of a nation strategy and programme for local government reforms and decentralisation.”
In the area of sanitation, Khan said the settlement of Farafenni and Barra are growing rapidly and therefore need more attention despite efforts already taken to make sure that waste collection tractors are available to collect waste from the markets and other public places.
Dilating on the challenges faced by the council, the Finance Director Khan further informed deputies that council continues to face a lot of challenges in the process of carrying out its mandate, among which included arrears owe to NAWEC in millions since thirty years ago, which he says continues to hinder the programmes and activities of the council.
He added that the support from the Central Government is not forthcoming as stipulated in the 2002 Local Government Act and Decentralisation.