Regional re-organisation and Development Minister Dan Botwe has said the creation of new regions is not an arbitrary imposition by government but a constitutional requirement which has been advanced by the both the ruling government and the Minority.
He said the same had also been expressed by a group of people through petitions and suggestions some of which were dated as far back as 30 years.
He said the ministry was, therefore, created to oversee the demands of the affected people and said after reference to the Council of State and advice thereof, a commission of enquiry would be formed to undertake consultations with chiefs and other stakeholders to determine matters related to naming and creation of boundaries in line with principles as laid down in the Constitution.
Mr Botwe, who was addressing a seminar for members of the Volta Region House of Chiefs, on the theme, “ Traditional Authority and Regional Re-organisation,” said chiefs would be offered the opportunity to express themselves as custodians and the first port of call for the exercise.
The workshop was sponsored by Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung of Germany.
Among other advantages the minister said the exercise would bring government nearer to the people for accelerated development.
Touching on the creation of the regions, the President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, said so much acrimony had been generated in connection with the wrong presentation of the concept to the people and that instead of proposing the concept in their manifestoes the leading two political parties rather decided they would create new regions.
He said it was not just a question of requesting for a region without advancing the benefits to the people but rather for them to assimilate the concept in good faith.
In his address, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, announced that GH¢600,000 had been earmarked for the completion of a guest house for the Volta Region House of Chiefs in Ho and that GH¢800,000 had also been voted for offices of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi.
He said the chieftaincy ministry was overwhelmed with chieftaincy conflicts across the country and added that the judicial committees of the house of chiefs would be resourced to deal with the situation with the view to reducing the conflicts to the barest minimum from the traditional to the regional and to the national level.
Mr Dzamesi warned that chiefs who hid under the chieftaincy institution to foment criminal activities would be treated as offenders and would be prosecuted as such.
He announced that all sitting allowances for chiefs had been doubled and that paramount chiefs would now be paid GH¢1000 instead of GH¢500 per month and a queenmother would be paid GH¢800 instead of GH¢350.