Penplusbytes' citizens' forum roadshow geared towards connecting grassroots to parliament landed in Fise, a suburb of Trobu-Amasaman Constituency in the Greater Accra Region at the weekend.
Some citizens in the constituency had the opportunity to engage and interact with their Member of Parliament for Trobu-Amasaman, Moses Anim who is also a member of the Committee on Government Assurances of Parliament.
The citizens' forum dubbed "Dialogue with Parliament" forms a key component of the "Connecting Citizens to Parliament" project being implemented by Penplusbytes with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
The project provides both online (www.assurances.gov.gh, SMS, Whatsapp, mobile App) and face-to-face platforms for citizens to engage with Parliament and enable the Committee on Government Assurance enhance its oversight role, in ensuring that assurances and promises made by Government are achieved leading to an improvement in public service delivery.
This forum attracted chiefs, opinion Leaders, District Assembly and Unit committee members, union leaders, representatives from various political parties and citizens to discuss government promises on energy, roads and infrastructure among others.
Mr Anim took citizens through the work of parliament, duties of an MP and made emphasis on the role and work of the Committee on Government Assurance which he stated was a standing Committee of Parliament, created by the standing Orders to exercise oversight responsibility over the Executive.
According to him, "Order 174 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament indicates that, it shall be the duty of the Committee on Government Assurances to pursue all assurances, promises and undertaking given by Ministers from time to time. It shall also be the function of the Committee to report to the House on the extent to which such assurances have been fulfilled. Therefore, the Committee on Government Assurances seeks accountability for the Ghanaian people through their elected representatives."
The MP assured the Citizens of the Committee's resolve, to play their role effectively, devoid of political inclinations to ensure government delivers on its promises for the benefit of all tax-payers and the development of the country.
On his part, the President of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, stated that, the forum was aimed at creating a structured engagement mechanism between citizens and parliament to enhance their ability to hold duty bearers accountable through increased interaction between them and Parliament.
"This forum is the fourth of its kind undertaken by Penplusbytes this year, and it provides opportunities for a diversity of voices to be heard on issues that matter to people, and fosters a sense of mutuality, belonging and a sense of empowerment, all of which strengthens our burgeoning democracy."
Citizens who participated in the forum called for more interactions such as this to enable them meet their MPs face-to-face, since, it will enable them express their opinions on legislations and government policies which affect them, share in decision-making, thereby assuming more ownership of solutions and more responsibility for their implementation.
The CGA together with Penplusbytes will hold the next citizen forum at the University of Cape Coast after undertaking verification of some projects promised by the government which includes the Cape Coast Stadium and the construction of a new market at Kotokroba.