We Are Fulfilling New Regions Promise – Dan Botwe
The Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Botwe, has expressed delight that the Nana Akuffo-Addo-led government has been faithful to Ghanaians in fulfilling the promise of creating new regions out of the existing ones.
Dan Botwe, also the Member of Parliament for the Okre constituency, pointed out that almost all the political parties that took part in the 2016 elections promised Ghanaians one way or the other to create new regions out of the old ones should they be given the mandate, and true to its word, the NPP government has initiated plans to actualize the promise.
Mr. Botwe was speaking on Thursday at a public hearing to solicit views of stakeholders on the creation of the new regions. He said the promise was based on demands by traditional authorities and individuals to create new regions out of the existing ones.
He said the President Akufo-Addo received petitions from stakeholders in relation to the need to create new regions, and therefore proceeded to set up the Commission to start the process.
The Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kweku Afriyie, on his part stated that new regions being created will drive grass root development and drastically reduce rural urban migration.
He indicated that most communities are unable to see real development due to the big sizes of the regions, which makes it difficult for policy makers to identify their needs and appropriately address them.
Dr. Afriyie added that by creating more regions out of the old ones, it will bring development closer to the people and trigger private sector led development.
He added that the process when completed will also reduce unemployment since “people will find it convenient to set up factories in those areas due to proximity of reaching government representatives.
The Western Regional Minister rubbished the assertion that the exercise is a waste of public purse, due to the cost involved. He said the economic gains far out ways the expenditure the country will have to sacrifice and cited the case of Switzerland which has developed so much due to the many regions the country has been divided into, though it is a relatively small country.
The Commission was appointed by the President through a Constitutional Instrument 105 on the 19th of October, 2017 with Justice Stephen A. Brobbey, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court.
Other members of the Commission include Dr. Grace Bediako (Former Government Statistician), Maulvi Mohammed Bin-Salih (AMEER, Missionary in Charge, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana), Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa (Former Vice Chancellor, KNUST), Ms. Gladys Gillian Naadu Tetteh (Local governance expert), Mr. Robert Ajene (Retired Director of Education), Dr. David Wellington Essaw (Senior Research Fellow, University of Cape Coast), Prof. George Owusu (Institute of Statistical, Social & Economic Research /Director, Center for Urban Management Studies, University of Ghana), Ms. Josephine Hughes (Legal Practitioner).
The Chairman of the Commission, Rtd. Justice Stephen A. Brobbey on his part revealed that the Commission adopted its own method of operation to help it achieve its objective. he further revealed that the affected regions have been visited and broad consultations have been made and that the public hearing marks the final stages of their work.
New regions to be created include the Western North Region from the Western Region, Ahafo Region from the Brong Ahafo Region, Bono East from the same Brong Ahafo Region, Savannah Region from the Northern Region, North East Region from the same Northern Region and Oti Region from the Volta Region.
The Spokesperson for the Western North Region in justifying the need for the creation of the regions indicated that lack of development and total neglect of successive governments has presented the urgent need to create the new regions out of the old ones.
He added that for the purpose of social stability, administrative and good service delivery, the need to create new regions is much urgent than thought.
The President has directed the Commission to produce a report on its work, and present recommendations to be referred to the Electoral Commission (EC) for the organization of a referendum.