General News of Thursday, 15 September 2016
Ghana at the moment does not require the creation of new regions to add to the existing ones but rather a semi-autonomous local government system where every local assembly would have offices for all state institutions managed by well-trained public servants and technocrats, Felix Kojo Addo, the Communications Officer of think tank Good Governance Africa, has said.
His assertion comes at a time both President John Dramani Mahama and the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have promised to create new regions if they win the December 7 presidential elections.
Mr Mahama, when delivering highlights of the NDC’s manifesto in Accra on Tuesday, said: “We will set up a commission of enquiry to look into the creation of new regions. We currently have 10 regions, but we believe that it is possible to increase the number of regions to 15. And so we will set up a commission of enquiry that will look at the viability of increasing the number of administrative regions in Ghana from 10 to 15. And so this commission will receive petitions and based on that, they will look at whether creation of those regions are viable options or not; and based on that recommendation, we will trigger the constitutional processes.”
On his part Mr Akufo-Addo has promised to increase Ghana’s ten regions to 11 by carving out the Western-North Region out of the Western Region in the event of winning the elections and becoming president.
However, speaking in an interview with ClassFMonline.com on Thursday September 15, Mr Addo said: “Ghana as a nation could be equated to Lagos, a state in Nigeria in terms of population size. However, a well-structured local governance system has over the years enabled them to better manage their resources.
“For evenly distributed development, Ghana does not need additional regions. What is needed is a semi-autonomous local government system. In this system, every local assembly would have offices for all state institutions managed by well-trained public servants and technocrats. Internally generated funds must be managed by the various assemblies with an accepted monitoring and evaluation system.
“With this in place, the central government would comfortably disburse projects funds; which to all intents and purposes would be used for the utmost benefit of the citizenry.
“Every campaign season, since 1992, has witnessed a myriad of wild promises. All political parties are free to make promises to win the confidence of the electorate. It is obvious that the two main political parties in Ghana (NDC and NPP) are throwing jabs at each other as to who can best manage the Ghanaian economy. The reality will set in after the EC declares the winner of the general elections this year. Until then, both parties are at liberty to make promises.”