General News of Wednesday, 6 December 2017
The Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Botwe, has said he is confident the Commission of Inquiry for the creation of new regions, can meet its 6-month deadline.
The Nine Member Commission chaired by Justice Alan Stephen Brobbey, ended its in-camera hearings on the creation of the new regions on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media, Dan Botwe said he is hopeful that the Commission will break for Christmas and resume in January 2018.
“In the C.I., the president gave the Commission of Inquiry six months to work and they started in October. I know that per their programme this year, they are going to Western Region and that is from 11th to 16th December, and then they will break for the Christmas. Then they will resume in January. So from January they have to go to the rest of the three regions and they should be able to finish and write their report by the end of the six months deadline,” he added.
He explained that after the Commission’s work, the Electoral Commission (EC) is expected to conduct a referendum for the acceptance or rejection of the new regions.
About Justice Brobbey’s Commission of Inquiry
The Commission was tasked by the President to produce a report on its work, and present recommendations which will subsequently be handed over to the Electoral Commission.
The Commission, upon assumption of office, toured the Volta, Western, Northern and the Brong Ahafo Regions, to solicit the views of residents on the creation of the new regions.
A retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Brobbey, led the committee of 8 other members to undertake the consultation process.
It has over the past few days also engaged chiefs and opinion leaders from the Western, Volta Northern and the Brong Ahafo Regions.
The Electoral Commission is expected to organize a referendum for the creation of the new regions following final recommendations from the commission.
If 50% of persons living within the proposed areas endorse the proposal, the process of creating the new regions will then be implemented.
The creation of new regions was one of President Nana Addo’s several campaign promises in the run-up to the election in 2016.
Government is seeking to split the Northern, Western, Volta and the Brong-Ahafo Regions. However, some analysts have said the move is merely for political advantage.
But the Minister for Regional Reorganization, Dan Botwe, has dispelled such claims, saying it would instead enhance the economic opportunities as well as promote effective governance in such areas.
Once the in-camera hearing of petitions has ended, the Commission will move into the regions to hold public hearings. That process is expected to begin this month from the Western Region.