General News of Tuesday, 8 August 2017
The debate on government’s plan to carve new regions out of existing ones has been reignited.
President Nana Addo on Monday indicated at a durbar of chiefs and the people of the Bibiani-Anwhiaso-Bekwai District, on the first day of his three-day tour of the Western Region, that the proposal to carve a new region out of the Western Region is currently at the consideration stage.
The revelation has left the nation divided over the intended move.
While some have argued the said creation is laudable, others are kicking against the move, saying it is only going to add a new layer to the bureaucracy.
Despite concerns for government to channel resources that would be used to undertake this project into other ventures, research has shown that majority of Ghanaians, especially residents in the four areas where the said regional re-organisation is expected to take place support the idea, except the Volta Region where there has been a bit of resistance.
A Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo who made this revelation on the Citi Breakfast Show indicated that though regional re-organisation is feasible, it would require rigorous processes.
“The President would have to set up a commission and the commission would do a lot of consultation to find out from the people whether the idea is feasible.
If it is clear at the Commission’s level then there should be a referendum which will require conducting a plebiscite among the people who will be affected by the regional reorganisation there and 40 or 50 percent would have to turn out to vote and also get 80 percent votes for it. The opposition is also allowed to go and campaign against it…,” he explained..
Prof. Gyampo also wondered whether government had taken into consideration the cost implications of carving new regions.
“Have we considered the cost implication? This is a government that inherited an ailing economy. There is a lot of cost implication. You need to procure vehicles.”
He further questioned the motive for creating new regions, saying “what is the rational for re -organisation. Is it for development? If it is for development, I am not sure because the various institutions and local assemblies that are supposed to be putting in place government strategies will not immediately get up and work once a new region is created from another region so let us find out why they are not able to work to bring about development.”
Prof. Gyampo therefore asked government to thoroughly reconsider the creation of new regions especially as it claims the country does not have a strong economic footing.
Meanwhile a Lecturer at the Institute of Local Studies, Dr. Oduro Osae has lauded moves to create new regions arguing that it would lead to “some level of development.”
“Once the region is created, you need an administrative capital and you have most of the businesses relocating to the region. Once it is created , you will have us realigning the various district assemblies so that Common Fund can also be allocated to those districts,” he argued.
He however indicated that one major challenge that besets this move is administrative bureaucracies.
“The other challenge is administrative bureaucracy in the creation because once we create, it means we will have more than ten regions. Administering a country with more than ten regions, having more than ten regional Ministers is one of the administrative bureaucracies that will be created.”
The carving of new regions was one of President Nana Addo’s several campaign promises in the run up to the election.