General News of Friday, 30 November 2018
The Regional Reorganisation minister has disclosed that the newly created regions will get ¢20 million each as seed capitals.
Daniel Kwaku Botwe said in anticipation of the referendum, “the 2019 budget made a GH¢20 million allocation per region as seed money for the provision of critical infrastructure to enable the new regions to take off smoothly.”
The Okere MP said government afterward would provide more funding to accelerate the growth of those new regions.
He told journalists when he took his turn at the meet the press series Thursday, that government is not spending money campaigning for or against the creation of new regions.
According to him, government has no interest in the outcome of the referendum which comes off on December 27 this year to create six new regions.
Mr Botwe explained that as President Nana Akufo-Addo stated, the creation of the new regions is driven by people who have petitioned for it to be done and are using their own resources to campaign for it.
“What government is doing and will continue to do is to facilitate the process and already it is the work of the EC to at any point in time do voter education…
“We are not involved in any campaign…if the results come and indeed they have 50 percent turnout and they have at least 80 percent voting yes, then mister president will issue a constitutional instrument leading to the creation of the new regions,” he said.
On July, 19 this year, pursuant to Article 5(5) of the 1992 Constitution, the President forwarded the Justice Brobbey Commission’s recommendations to the Electoral Commission (EC).
The Commission established the existence of a substantial demand and the need for the creation of new regions in all the six petition areas. It also said voting in the referendum should be restricted to registered voters in the proposed regions.
The six new regions from the present Brong Ahafo, Western, Northern and the Volta regions after studying and investigating several petitions submitted.
The six new regions are Western North, Bono East, Ahafo, Savannah, North East and Oti Region.
However, at least 50 per cent participation of registered voters in the proposed areas must vote with an endorsement of 80 per cent to seal the creation of the new regions.
But there have been a number of criticisms with some arguing that the whole process will be a drain on the country’s meager resources.
To this Mr Botwe said, the government is not doing so to score political points.
“It is instructive to note that the 2016 Manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main opposition party, contains a pledge to facilitate the creation of five new regions had the NDC been successful at the 2016 elections.
“The 2016 Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the ruling party, pledged the creation of Western North Region out of the existing Western Region. This clearly demonstrates that there is meeting of minds of the two major parties on the issue of creating new administrative regions,” he said
According to him, when the President assumed office, many traditional authorities, civil society organisations, and responsible citizens have all voiced their support for the creation of new regions
Regarding the dissents from some chiefs, the former Information minister said there was extensive consultation with all the Houses of Chiefs in the affected areas.