Friday, 30 December 2016

Creation of additional region and its socio-economic challenges

In his 2016 campaign, the President elect Nana Akuffo Addo promised the people of the Western Region the creation of a new region to be known as the Western North.

The new region is to facilitate economic development, create jobs, and to ensure equity in development. 

The present Western Region with its capital in Sekond-Takoradi along the coast creates administrative lapses because it is one region that traveling from the northern part to the capital takes several hours than any other Region in Ghana.

This makes it extremely very difficult for journalists for instance in Sekondi to provide adequate coverage to communities stretching from Asankragua, Wiawso, Bibiani-Anwhiaso-Bekwai, Akontombra ,Juaboso, and Osei Kojokrom.

It is therefore no wonder that events in such communities are rather covered by media houses in the Ashanti Region because of their proximity to the region. It is a fact that, the Western Region leads in almost all natural resources that keep the country gong from, timber, cocoa, gold and latest being the oil.

Strangely, the region is one of the poorest in terms of good roads. The high rainfall pattern with 10 out of the 12 months of the year being rainy season almost renders all un tarred roads also impassable during the rainy season.

In fact this and many other factors make the demand for new regions much more reasonable. However, in order not to trigger the clamour for more regions which go with its short term negative impact on the economy, there is the need for critical assessment before implementing this decision.

The Brong Ahafo Region, the Northern, and the Volta Regions have also made the request considering their large geographical area and other factors put them in the qualification brackets.

The national interest in terms of economic viability must be considered instead of sectional interest and political expediency. The Western Region for instance, it would be economically feasible to relocate the capital to a central point in the region to enhance administrative activities, instead of creating additional region with about 24 constituencies.

What is significant now is probably for the government to create more District, Municipal and metropolitan Assemblies.

This can accelerate national development, good governance and efficient grass root participation and local governance rather than the creation of additional regions.

Already, the country is saddled with challenges with the higher number of public servants on government's payroll.

The Creation of regions accompanied by huge staff including Ministers, Deputies, Directors and other auxiliary staff will put additional pressure on the wage bill.

The President-elect must be mindful of the fact that the country already had the long term development plan.

let us now advocate that all political party manifestoes should not deviate from this document which the nation has invested so much in its preparation.

The parties have temporary working document, the 40 year development plan is a living document which interest cuts across partisan consideration.

The national interest should guide us as a people in dealing with such issue as creating new region and not just to score a political point. Long live Ghana


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