An extensive evaluation across the various regions expected to be split, shows that majority of the people there support the creation of new regions, Deputy Minister for Regional Re-organization, Martin Adjei Korsah has said.
“It appears that more Ghanaians feel the creation of new regions is a good idea. Many people feel the best way to solve their developmental issues is through the creation of new regions,” Mr. Akorsah told Richard Sky on Eyewitness News.
His comment follows a recommendation by the Commission of Inquiry for the creation of six additional regions.
The Commission has completed its work and submitted its report to the President.
It recommended the creation of the Western North, Bono East, Ahafo, Savannah, North East, and Oti regions from the Western, Brong Ahafo, Volta and Northern Regions
Some have since suggested that the Commission failed to consult widely before making its recommendations.
Commission consulted widely
Mr. Korsah, speaking on Eyewitness News, however dismissed these claims, saying the Commission did a series of consultations before completing its work.
“That is not correct; the Commission as far as I am aware did series of consultations. Before the Commission even took off their work, the Ministry which facilitated that work had been engaged in stakeholder consultations across the country.
“All those meetings were open to the public. There was no restriction as to who is suppose to be there. The media were our main friends, and they reported extensively on this. It is a matter of public record.”
‘Creation of new regions welcoming news.’
A former Western Regional Minister under the Mahama administration, Paul Evans Aidoo also on Eyewitness News supported the creation of regions, describing it as “welcoming news.
He pointed out that the move is relevant given the challenges facing the regions, which are not only a result of the lack of resources but also the size of these regions.
“I think that it was something I even proposed during the last independence day celebration. I mentioned that looking at the size of the country now, and the number of districts we have created now, it will be okay if we can go through the process of the constitutional requirements and create additional regions because the regional coordinating councils announced that it is difficult to do monitoring, evaluation, and many other activities in the region.
“For instance in my own region; Western Region, if you look at the regional capital, some 400 to 500 kilometers away, it makes the work difficult so I propose that we should have other regions located in the existing one, but I never mentioned the areas so when people petitioned that we should create new regions, I supported them. It is good that the Commission is proposing the creation of regions.”
Meanwhile, the lawyer for some seven petitioners in the Southern part of the Volta Region who had earlier petitioned the committee to extend its hearings to their area, Albert Quashigah, said they were some outstanding issues to be tackled before the regions are created.
He indicated that it would be wrong for the government to go ahead with the creation when the Committee had failed to consult widely, a claim Mr. Korsah denied.
“At the beginning of this year, the Justice Brobbey commission began consultation and public hearing and in the Volta Region, public hearing was scheduled for most places in the Northern part of the Volta Region, and the people in the South thought that if the Commission must collect views, it must be broad-based enough then, not only for the Volta Region but in other regions – the public hearing should be extended to them in the Southern part as well so they can also make their views known. Acting on instruction, I wrote to the Commission, and the Commission denied flatly that they would not extend the public hearings to the Southern part of the Volta Region.”
“We went to court over this matter, and it dismissed our application on strange grounds, but we understood the context, and now the Commission has brought its report. We have not seen the report, but my people are of the view that there are going to be thorny issues that have to be dealt with.”