Creation of six additional regions was to fast-track development – O.B. Amoah
Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Minister of State-Designate, Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, says the creation of six additional regions in 2018 was to fast-track development.
He said the Government decided to add the six new regions to the original 10 to deepen democracy, to fast track their development and to bring governance to the doorstep of the people.
Mr Amoah, who is also the outgoing Deputy Minister of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, said this on Tuesday when he appeared before the Appointment Commitment of Parliament to be vetted.
Mr Henry Quartey, a Member of the Appointment Commitment of Parliament and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso Central, asked the Minister-Designate whether the Regional Coordinating Councils of the six newly created regions had offices.
Mr Amoah, in his response, noted that in the previous administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, they used to have the Ministry of Regional Reorganization and Development with Mr Dan Botwe as Minister.
He said under the second term of President Akufo-Addo that Ministry had been absorbed into the Ministry of Local, Decentralization and Rural Development with Mr Dan Botwe as the Minister.
“You could see that a lot has been done, the statistics showed that indeed, for the six regions, they’ve become very fortunate, fortunate in the sense that the kind of drive that the Minister led in getting these regions created, which indeed, is phenomenal, it is history,” Mr Amoah said.
He said so much had gone into the creation of the six new regions, stating that as at the last count about 50 projects, which they had earmarked, about 33 of them had been completed and the rest were at various stages of completion.
He cited the Regional Coordinating Council Office building in the Western North Region as an ultramodern edifice.
Mr Amoah said the regional officers of the various agencies of the Government had been posted to all the six newly created regions.
He said a lot had been done in three Regions, which were carved out of the former Northern Region; saying “and I think if we continue and have more resources, a lot more can be done.”
Touching on the role of District Chief Executives, Mr Amoah said the first thing they need to know was to know what the law says.
“This is what the law says you can do, these are your powers under the law, if you are not able to execute your mandate, it means you are not doing your work well.”
He said when it comes to unauthorized citing of structures, the law mandates Chief Executives to give notice, ask offenders to update, to even ask for modification and to serve notice and then to go ahead and if possible to demolish the structures.
“Even for public spaces, you don’t need to go through all these, for public spaces you just go ahead and demolish because that structure is not required to be at that place.”
He said this was because the land in question did not belong to the offender and therefore, he could not site the structure there.
The Minister-Designate lauded Mr Quartey, who is also the Greater Accra Regional Minister, for championing the efforts to get rid of illegal structures with the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area.