Guan District inaugurated

BY: Mary Anane-Amponsah
Mr Dan Botwe — Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development
Mr Dan Botwe — Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development

The newly created Guan District has been inaugurated at a ceremony at Likpe Mate, the district capital, in the Oti Region to pave the way for the development of the area.

With the inauguration, Ghana now has 261 districts.

The historic occasion attracted chiefs and people from Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) traditional areas, Members of Parliament in the region, newly sworn in district chief executives and heads of institutions.

The people of SALL expressed their joy with singing and dancing as they have been without an administrative district for over a year.

The district has 13 electoral areas, with six government appointees and 34 staff for the various departments.

Priorities

The Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr Dan Botwe, commended the people for their patience and good spirit that allowed the processes to come to fruition, stating that the name Guan District was proposed by the chiefs of the four traditional areas and the Joint Consultative Committee put in place to ensure the right things were done.

The new district, he noted, was going to deepen decentralisation and local governance and accelerate development.

He advised the people to create a positive image for the district to attract investors and urged the assembly members to ensure that whoever the President appointed as the district chief executive was accepted to push the development agenda for the district.

Mr Botwe presented two vehicles to the assembly to facilitate its work.

Thanking President

The Oti Regional Minister, Mr Joshua Makubu, commended the President, Parliament, the Electoral Commission, and traditional leaders for contributing to the creation of the district.

He called on the people to support the government by honouring their tax obligations for the assembly to generate the needed resources to champion the development of the area.

The Head of Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, called on the staff to make prudent use of the resources allocated to the assembly, create means of scaling up revenue collection in the district and exhibit a high level of commitment to their work.

The Paramount Chief of the Likpe Traditional Area, Nana Soglo Alloh IV, called on the government to amend Article 243 to allow local people to elect their district chief executives as was done in electing assembly members without partisan politics.

He also urged the government to consult traditional authorities and other interest groups in the district in appointing 30 per cent of assembly persons.

The lack of consultation, he noted, had contributed to the low participation in decision-making within the decentralisation arena.

MP

Nana Alloh IV also called for an election of a Member of Parliament (MP) to complement the membership of the assembly in line with Article 242 of the 1992 Constitution.

He noted that the MPs common fund was a crucial financial lifeline for an assembly like the Guan District Assembly which lacked internally generated funding.

As an alternative to the immediate election of an MP, he called on the government to make a special financial arrangement to supplement the income of the assembly.

A former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dr Obed Asamoah, called on all aggrieved persons, especially in the Lolobi and Akpafu areas, to support the district.