Attempts to create new regions and districts under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, was largely influenced by “political pressure” from community leaders and chiefs, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has said.
Mr. Ayariga however admitted that this has been the trend for successive governments.
The Akufo-Addo government, in its latest move on the creation of new districts has presented a Legislative Instrument (LI) to Parliament, for the creation of 38 new districts and municipalities.
[contextly_sidebar id=”ihCbFORUp6ttTP57q7xtxCjCvqvk0QmV”]Speaking to journalists on Thursday, the Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, said the LI will also give legal backing to other districts and municipalities which have been elevated or split.
In assigning reasons to government’s decision, Mr. Ayariga explained that, political leaders, particularly Presidents, tend to “yield to the pressure” from community leaders and chiefs for the creation of new regions and districts.
Mr. Ayariga indicated that, these leaders are very keen in pushing for this creation due to its implications on resource allocation.
“I have argued several times that if the problem is about reach, then we should be looking at investing in infrastructure, transportation and communication, to ensure that we are able to reach all the corners of the country easily and not necessarily creating new regions. But of course you have political pressure from regions that feel they should be divided into two and you have pressures from chiefs and community leaders asking for new districts to be carved out because as districts are carved out it has implications for resource allocation.”
New districts won’t strain public purse
Mr. Ayariga emphatically stated however, that the creation of new districts will not put a strain on the public purse.
“ I doubt if they [Ghanaians] can make a case really that it puts pressure on the public purse because what will happen is that, the same public purse will just be realigned in its distribution. The District Common Fund will still be the same amount. The Common Fund will not increase because the number of districts has increased. It is the distribution of the Common Fund which will be realigned in a way that meets the new alignment of districts.”
Some of the new assemblies to be created after the passage of the LI by Parliament, include Ayawaso East and North, carved out of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, and Kwadaso and Oforikrom, from the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
Others are the Nanton district, which will be created from the Savelugu-Nanton district, whilst Savelugu will be given a municipality status.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana