Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, one of the finest Local Governance Experts in Africa

Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur.

By Rachel Kakraba.

Head of Service at the Local Government Service (OHLGS), Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, has reiterated calls on Presiding Members of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to be innovative with development of their Assemblies. For him, the local governance architecture of Assemblies makes them pivotal in decisions that either promote development of their districts or otherwise, as a reason they must bring their expertise to bear in the work of the Assemblies. Dr. Arthur who was interacting with some Assembly Members in Accra, also cautioned against awarding Contracts without adequate funding as such a move contributes to uncompleted projects. He also called for collaboration and teamwork within Assemblies to derive maximum outcomes.

Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur (L), Prof Stephen Adae, Chairperson, NDPC (R)

Dr. Nana Ato Arthur took over from Dr. Callistus Mahama as the Head of Local Government Service in April 2017. He has since demonstrated commitment to the sector to ensure rapid transformation of Local Assemblies.

For him, Local Government Service remains the catalyst for growth and it is important that Assemblies are compelled to improve the socio-economic standards of the Communities.

To this extent he has recommended sanctions for non-performing Assemblies, as well as a reward system for high performing ones to urge other MMDAs on.

Take on aborted referendum

Nana Ato Arthur believes the botched referendum on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in 2019, requires a relook at the process, since it has the potential to deepen Ghana’s decentralization process.
He explained that local level elections have become highly political, indicating that during District Level Elections, posters of Assembly Members were sometimes cleverly designed with political colors sponsored by political parties.

Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur (L), Veep Bawumia (R)

He maintains Assemblies are responsible for local development, a reason whether representing an opposition political party or not will not affect a candidate’s ability to champion for development of their local areas.

“who tells you Assemblies are not partisan when it comes to these issues, we’re just becoming like the ostriches, we don’t like the truth”.

About Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur.

Described as one of the finest Local Governance Experts in Africa, Dr. Nana Ato Arthur is a Development Engineer and Local Government Expert in Ghana with a rich background in Governance and Development.

Dr. Nana Ato Arthur holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of Bonn, Germany. M.Sc. in Development Planning and Management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and a Postgraduate Diploma in Regional Planning and Management Dortmund, Germany.

He also has a BSc. (Hons.) Agricultural Engineering, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China an Advanced Level Certificate from St. Augustine’s College, Cape Coast. 1981-1983 and Ordinary Level Certificate from Fijai Secondary School, Sekondi, Ghana

He was appointed by the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo on the Presidential Transition Subcommittee for Transition Activities on selected RCCs and MMDAs and covered Central, Western, Ashanti, and Brong Ahafo in 2017.

From March 2001 to May 2005, he was appointed as District Chief Executive for Komenda Edna Eguafo Aberem. He was also appointed Deputy Central Regional Minister and later became the substantive Minister for Central Region in May 2006-January 2009.

In 2012, Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur contested on the ticket of NPP as a Parliamentary Candidate and won to become a Member of Parliament representing the people of KEEA.

He has worked in many organizations including Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA). He was the Management Consultant of the State Enterprises Commission in Accra from December 1998-March 2001. He is the current Vice-President of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM).

Nana Ato Arthur believes Assemblies can be effective with collaboration and encourages MMDCEs to engage more with the Chiefs and people, within their Communities in the implementation of programmes and reduce the usual evasion of taxes and levies.

He asked the leadership of the Assemblies to come out with mechanisms and strategies to ensure that the target set for Assembly is realized.

Giving back to society

At the peak of Covid 19, in 2020, Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur donated 50 Veronica buckets, 20 metallic stands, 250 gallons of liquid soap and 40 pieces of tissue paper rolls to the Municipal Health Directorate of the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem. The gesture according to him was a demonstration of appreciation to the people for their support to his political career.

Achievements at the Local Government Service.

The appointment of Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur in 2017 has seen him bring his expertise to bear on the smooth running of Local Government Systems which has ensured transparency and accountability in the management of MMDAs.

Nana Ato Arthur who has always been concerned about the lackadaisical attitude of staff towards work, in 2019 introduced the electronic biometric working system in order to track performances, reporting and closing times of workers in all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) nationwide.

For him, the government introduced the Electronic Biometric Logging System in all Assemblies to check the attendance of staff.

“In addition, all MMDCEs are also made to sign performance contracts to ensure effective leadership and accelerated development at the local level”.

Other areas which has seen transformation at the Local Government Service during his tenure includes,

Construction of a State-of-the-Art Head Office for the Service.

Creation of Statistical Unit and refurbishing of the Client Service Unit, which has significantly improved service delivery and feedback at the local government level.

Seamless processes with promotions, transfers and postings. This and many other transformations has seen many young people yearn to be offered employment opportunities at the Service.

About Local Government Service.

The Local Government Service is a Public Service Institution established by the Local Government Service Act, 2003 (Act 656) which has been repealed and replaced with the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936). The Service exists ‘’to secure effective administration and management of the decentralized local government system in the country’’.

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