Over fifty Ward Development Committee Members including ten community stakeholders in the country’s second capital city, Bo have applauded the National Commission for Democracy (NCD) for conducting what they described as a worthwhile training workshop on the theme “Promoting Democratic Good Governance at the Ward Committee Level” held in the Conference Room of the Bo District Council Hall on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Speaking to participants, the NCD Chairman, Dr. Abubakar H. Kargbo, revealed that his Commission is formed by an Act of Parliament charged with the responsibility of educating residents and institutions in the country about their civic rights and responsibilities vis-à-vis transparency, accountability, the dangers of corruption, capital flight and above all to strengthen civil society with the aim of enhancing responsible citizenry. He maintained that the workshop is aimed at capacitating Ward Development Committee Members and Councilors in order to effectively and efficiently deliver service at the ward level. Chairman Kargbo assured all that the workshop was meant to evaluate the effectiveness of the decentralization structure and the principles of democratic good governance geared towards dealing with concerns such as effective public service delivery as a crucial factor in the pursuit of the socio-economic wellbeing of people at the ward level.

The NCD Commissioner of the Southern Region, Jonathan Kakpindi Menjoh, revealed that the workshop is in in harmony with Outcome Four of the Commission’s Performance Tracking Table (PTT) of 2015 that is aimed at “enhancing corporation with local council” noting that community development is the sole responsibility of Ward Councilors and their respective Ward Development Committee Members through support from government and its development partners as stipulated in the 2004 Local Government Act.

The prime facilitators for the workshop, Mr. Moses Paul Sesay and the NCD Director of Programmes, Mr. Kalie Sillah, told Ward Development Committee Members, councilors and community stakeholders that NCD is mindful of the fact that section 20 (1) of the 2004 Local Government Act stands out clearly that local councils are the highest political authorities in their respective localities. He urged them to be acquainted with the Act because it clearly states the functions and powers they have over their specific geographical regions such as electing local officials, enacting taxes and doing other small scale activities that government cannot do. In undertaking these activities, Mr. Sesay stressed that section 45 (1) of the 2004 Act clearly indicates that local councils shall finance activities from their own revenue collection drives and central government grants.
Speaking on behalf of the Bo District Council, the Deputy Chairman of the Council, Mr. Martin M. B. Gobba, said that the important role of NCD over the years cannot be over emphasized noting that the Commission has been using multimedia approaches to educate citizens and non-citizens in the Country about best practices that would project the image of the country to the international community. He remarked that the Commission in recent times embarked on effective school sensitization activities reaching over ten thousand school going pupils teaching them about nationalism and patriotism using the slogan “catch them young”. Mr. Gobba assured NCD that they would put into practice what they have learnt.

Representing the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs in the capacity as Senior Social Services Officer, Mr. Michael James, revealed that NDC is key in softening the ground for his Ministry noting that the Commission’s outreach programmes on civic responsibilities and democratic good governance are not only applied at the political level, but also in various homes. He encouraged government to give more support to the Commission because according to him, NCD’s activities should reach each and every person.

Chairman's photo
The Chairman
Dr. Abubakar Kargbo

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