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Collapse Regional Reorganisation Ministry after referendum

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
 Collapse Regional Reorganisation Ministry After referendum
Collapse Regional Reorganisation Ministry After referendum

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has called for the collapse of the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development after the referendum for the creation of six proposed regions in 2019.

He again indicated that allocating budgets of Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC) to the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development was a usurpation of the mandate and authority of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Speaking during the consideration of the GH¢120 million budget estimate for the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development in Parliament last Saturday, Mr Iddrisu said "That Ministry of Regional Reorganisation should be given the terminal keys after the referendum.

It cannot exist unless you want to create new regions or reorganise regions.

"The proper region constitutionally is the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

 I am not able to support GH¢120 million going to the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development for a decentralised regional coordinating council. That is wrong constitutionally.

 That is not in their mandate."

Mr Iddrisu, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, stressed that "it is constitutionally objectionable to usurp the mandate, power and authority of a constitutional body set up under Chapter 20 for decentralised administration including regional coordinating councils for them to be funded backdoor by a ministry called Ministry for Regional Reorganisation."

He said the Minority MPs would not be part of the consideration of the budget estimate for the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development.

Referendum

Touching on the referendum, Mr Iddrisu said public education was not adequate on the referendum, and indicated that "This is not an ordinary vote."

He, therefore, urged the government to adequately resource the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to prepare the minds of the people in the affected regions "so that we do not fail in this important exercise."

Majority's response

Responding to the issues raised by the Minority Leader, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Old Tafo and Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, expressed surprise that after the matter of the referendum had gone to the Supreme Court, Mr Iddrisu still thought that the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development was unconstitutional.

He said there was nothing wrong with the CI establishing the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development.

Dr Akoto Osei said if Mr Iddrisu had difficulty with the creation of the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development, he should test it in court.

President Akufo-Addo appointed a Commission of Enquiry under Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana to Enquire into the demand for the creation of new regions and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation or alteration of a region or the merger of regions.

 The Commission has submitted its report to the President.

The proposed new regions are the Western North, Bono East, Ahafo, Savannah, North East, and Oti regions.

Read also: Eighty-year-old elected NDC Northern Regional Chairman

No participation

After the contributions, the House approved GH¢122 million as budget estimate for the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development but the Minority MPs abstained from the voice vote.

Thereafter, the Minority MPs did not participate in the contributions of subsequent budgets estimates for other ministries.