“….Minister Mr. Dan Botwe wants the people to know that the NPP government…. has no particular interest in the creation of new regions…That is a fat lie….The 2016 NPP opposition manifesto…identified the creation of multiple regions out of some of the existing…Many citizens of the current Western Region can’t win for losing…so some individuals may be appointed as their “new” Regional Minister, by party….The Akufo-Addo government has not advanced any useful reason why changes to the size of the regions is warranted…Mr. Dan Botwe’s ministry ought in fact be re-named…”Ministry of Development and District Empowerment” (MoDDE)….(with) responsibility for creating and coordinating District Master Plans and their multi-year execution programs, and aligning growth in GDP with actual development in the districts…The fact that a region is expansive or elongated…does not argue for splitting the region for the sake of “Economics”…Setting up additional Regions out of existing would only result in waste of resources, duplication of functions, and would promote greater conflict and disunity….”, (Prof Lungu, 12 Jan 18).
According to the Minister of “Regional Reorganization and Development”, Mr. Dan Botwe, the government of President Akufo-Addo has no particular interest in the creation of new regions.
By the latest report on Ghanaweb (See Sources/Notes at bottom), Mr. Dan Botwe wants the people to know that the government is not:
“…spending any pesewa to propagate that. All that we do and we are enjoined to do is what we are doing now; that we should understand the process. The government, I’m sure, will only come in with technical advice to support them…”.
But that is a bald-faced, fat, lie on more than one fronts.
The fact that the Minister is talking about those proposals while he is getting paid with tax payer funds shows that the government is in fact spending pesewas on that agenda.
The fact that the Akufo-Addo government chartered a Commission paid for by the People of Ghana to look into those “agitations” by individuals and groups shows that the Akufo-Addo government is spending pesewas, time, and other resources, on that agenda, that they now are denying.
It is a fat lie!
It is a bald-faced lie because the 2016 NPP Manifesto, “Change – An Agenda For Jobs: Creating Prosperity & Equal Opportunity For All”, is a record in the public domain.
The 2016 NPP opposition manifesto in fact identified the creation of multiple regions out of some of the existing as part of the NPP “economic” program.
As written in the document, “Growing Together” has “seven major economic initiatives, including:
“….(c) the establishment of…Middle Belt Development Authority (MBA)… for Northern Volta, the proposed “Western North Region”, and
(f) the creation of a new, “Western North” Administrative Region in order to open it up for accelerated development…”.
Curiously, having successfully devolved “Western Region” and created that new “Western North”, it is the remnants of the old “Western Region” that the NPP would then:
“… develop, in collaboration with the private sector…. into a regional oil services hub with a first class port facility, as well as positioning it as an efficient centre for back-office support for the oil industry in the West African region, including the relocation of the headquarters of GNPC to the region…”.
In other words, many citizens of the current Western Region could never win for losing!
Many are they who would lose so some individuals may be appointed as their “new” Regional Minister by party, with their deputies, and a whole “flight Crew” required to run a “Ministry”.
It does not make sense!
Not in administrative sense!
Not in land planning and development management sense!
Not in Unity sense!
It would have been a fantastic idea if Akufo-Addo’s administration was adding a square acre or more of land mass to Ghana’s current extent for that purpose.
But, they aren’t!
Far from that!
History shows that left to the fore-fathers of the NPP and their agitation for federalism, (agitation brilliantly tamed by Kwame Nkrumah), Ghana would have been a lot smaller – without significant portions of now existing Volta Region, that now constitutes Unitary-Ghana.
In sum, with respect to the on-going effort at “regional reorganization” by the Akufo-Addo government, our search far and wide did not identify a single compelling reason for all that expense of energy, time, and resources, other than the 2016 NPP Manifesto Agenda and politics.
A winning political party must not follow an electoral platform agenda when it does not promote unity, but rather, instigates and promotes national disunity.
The Akufo-Addo government is not interested in reforming the wart-infested Rawlings Constitution and the sundry NLC decrees (GBC TV Tax) that still control in part the live of Ghanaians.
In steadfastly neglecting the implementation of the Constitutional recommendations and other findings still sitting on dusty shelves (products acquired at significant cost to Ghanaians), President Akufo-Addo and his government have their cart before their horse.
This government has not advanced any useful reason why changes to the size of the regions is warranted, except the NPP political agenda!
Physical development does/ought to occur at the level of the administrative districts (in the towns, cities, and villages).
That is fact of Ghanaian life and administration, what ought to be!
That is proper!
Properly functioning regions coordinate between the districts and the national.
This is the 21st Century.
But they threw away the Ghana National Development Planning system.
The fact that a region is expansive or elongated (e.g. Northern Region, Volta Region, respectively, etc.), does not argue for splitting the region for the sake of “Economics”.
Difficulties of development, where they exist, are associated mostly with problems in transportation, communication, educational, and training infrastructures, compounded by rudimentary/weak administration of districts by poorly-educated, miserably-trained, and inadequately-resourced development agents and systems.
Setting up additional Regions out of existing would only result in waste of resources, duplication of functions. It would promote greater conflict and disunity as even more politicians get into the governance fray to compete for bigger titles.
So, seems to us Mr. Dan Botwe ministry ought in fact be re-named.
His ministry ought to be re-named “Ministry of Development and District Empowerment” (MoDDE).
The re-named ministry would have responsibility for creating and coordinating District Master Plans and their multi-year development execution programs, and
align growth of GDP with actual development of each district. (It is those plans that would roll up to Regional Master Plans, then National Development Plan(s)).
At the head of the now re-titled MoDDE would be the DCDE (District Chief Development Executives, leaders who would be elected by the people in the districts they serve. (Yes, ensure they have “DEVELOPMENT” so they are reminded daily why they are so lucky to be in those positions, when they get into those positions).
Sorry, Mr. Dan Botwe, please come again!
So it goes, Ghana!
By: Prof Lungu
(1) Government not sponsoring petitions for new region – Dan Botwe, (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Government-not-sponsoring-petitions-for-new-region-Dan-Botwe-616869).
(2) Akufo Addo’s million dollar cash giveaways to voting districts, (http://www.ghanahero.com/PROF_LUNGU_SAYS/2017-Ghana-Review/Winners_and_Losers_Akufo_Addo_Million-Dollar_Cash_to_Voting_Districts-Final.pdf).
(3) Ashanti Region biggest loser: Akufo-Addo’s million-dollar cash to voting districts (3), (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Ashanti-Region-biggest-loser-Akufo-Addo-s-million-dollar-cash-to-voting-districts-3-501097).
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