Mr Dan Botwe, the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, has said the creation of the Oti Region and the inauguration of the Guan District was in fulfilment of the desire and aspirations of the people.
He noted that petitions were written and sent to previous governments as far back as 1954 and these were fulfilled by the Akufo-Addo-led government.
Mr Botwe, addressing traditional leaders and people during the inauguration of the Guan District at Likpe-Mate, said the benefits of decentralization, including the creation of the Oti Region, were many.
For instance, five chiefs from the region are in the National House of Chiefs.
He noted that the Oti Region also had a representative at the Council of State, who hailed from the Guan District, adding that development was also a benefit of decentralisation.
He called on the Assembly members to adhere to their duties as stipulated in the Local Governance Act 936.
He said the President was keen on developing the area and with the help of the Ministry, local government would be deepened.
Mr Botwe said Departments of the newly inaugurated District would be spread across the four traditional areas.
The inauguration of the Guan District makes it the 261st District in Ghana.
A brand new Toyota Hilux and Nissan Pick-ups were presented to the District.
Mr Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu, Oti Regional Minister, said the creation of the District was in fulfilment of the government’s promise to ensure development.
He commended the contributions of all stakeholders who made the District inauguration a success.
Mr Makubu said there was the need for all stakeholders in the District to work hand in hand towards the development of the area, including infrastructure development, health and educational services.
He called on the people of the District to cooperate with the Assembly and staff about the fulfilment of their tax obligations.
Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of Local Government Service, said a total of 34 staff, including a Coordinating Director, had been posted to the Guan District.
He said the staff were carefully selected to the District and urged them to uphold all ethical values and professionalism to the development of the District.
Dr Arthur said the staff must develop a cordial relationship between the Assembly and the residents while working on revenue mobilization for the District through the collection of property rates.
He urged the traditional leaders to support the Assembly and its staff and create an enabling environment for them.
Nana Soglo Alloh IV, Paramount Chief of Likpe Traditional Area, expressed gratitude to the President, Local Government Minister and all traditional leaders in the enclave for their efforts in the creation and inauguration of the District.
He noted that decentralisation, which meant the democratic transition of power and responsibilities from the central government to the local government, had assumed so much popularity since the concept began in 1988 and was eventually incorporated in the Ghana Constitution of 1992.
Nana Alloh said they realised that the creation of the District was necessary for the development of the four traditional areas.
“Not only has the creation of the District the potential to lead to the transfer of more resources from the Central Government to the District. It also has the potential to allow the people of the traditional areas to have a bigger role in deciding how the resources are used.”
Legislative Instrument (L.I) 2416 created the Guan District with Likpe Mate as the District capital.