The Ministry of Internal Affairs Local Government and Rural Development, National Decentralization Task Force has ended a two-day National Decentralization Consultative meeting for councilors and other stakeholders in the Eastern Region.
The meeting, which took place at the Kenema District Council (KDC) hall along Maxwel Khobe Street in Kenema city, brought together participants from Kenema, Kailahun and Kono districts.
Earlier in the opening remarks the Chairman of the occasion who is also the provincial secretary east Alhaji Salia Magona says the meeting was to validate work on the review of the local government Act.
Alhaji Magona revealed that the government of Sierra Leone set up the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to decentralize and to over see the preparations of the National Decentralization Policy and Review of Legislations that bears on local governance.
The Provincial Secretary East Alhaji Salia Magona says participants are expected to discuss and finalize policy on decentralization and presenting report on the local government Act of 2004.
Magona is calling on well meaning Sierra Leoneans to work towards the development of the country while he encouraged the councilors to be good leaders of their communities.
In his speech the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Government Aderu Kalokoh says the meeting was to strengthen the local governance system to enhance good governance policy and to minimize the problems of local government systems in the country.
Minister Kaloko therefore called on the gathering to firmly express their views so as to achieve decentralization in local governance.
Presentation/review of reports by the thematic areas by the taskforce includes political and democratic decentralization, which deals with the types of local government elections, election of chairpersons/mayors, ward committees, role of members of parliament among others; fiscal decentralization, which include determination of local tax in the provinces, determination of sharing of precepts, market dues, who should pay local tax, when should local tax be assessed and collected among others.
Under functional and Administrative decentralization which deals with the issues of Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC), situation of District Officers (Dos) and their functions, the Provincial coordinating committee (PCC), Recruitment and retention of staff among others. The capacity building aspect dealt with Education, policy on capacity building, the role of capacity building in the decentralization process, coaching and mentoring support among others while Legal framework and Gender issues were all discussed during the two days of deliberations.