Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, has met with Paramount Chiefs and Queen in the Western Region to engage them in the creation of a new region out of the existing one.
According to him, the traditional authorities were key stakeholders in the plan which government believes will help accelerate development in the Western part of the country.
In an address at the meeting, Dan Botwe said the quest to divide some existing regions in the country dated back to the 1980s.
He said research into the matter has revealed that traditional leaders from some parts of the selected regions had written letters some 30 years back asking for this division to ensure holistic development and the government was going to facilitate the process.
The meeting was held under the theme: “Traditional Authority and Regional Reorganisation”.
The Minister said although it was a manifesto promise by the two leading political parties, the idea to have extra regions “really came from the people on the ground and their quest to experience local governance”.
The Regional, Reorganisation and Development Minister said despite the desire, the carving of new regions could not be done out of the constitution adding, “we will follow due process of setting up the commission of enquiries to do further engagement and end the process with a referendum.”
Mr Kofi Dwamesi, Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, said it is important to engage the traditional authorities and ask for their support in the implementation process.
He said despite the many chieftaincy issues bedevilling the institution, their contribution to national development could not be overruled.
Mr Dwamesi said the government has increased the allowances of Paramount Chiefs and enhanced their operational budget to ensure efficiency.
Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Western Regional Minister, said the Region holds the key to the development of the country with its numerous natural resources.
He said the creation of new regions and particularly the Western North was purely for development and nothing more.
Dr Afriyie entreated the chiefs to support governments fight against illegal mining and help maintain peace in the Region.