A GNA Feature by Dennis Peprah
Sunyani, Feb 3, GNA – Provisions in Chapter Two of the 1992 constitution, states “President of Ghana may, by constitutional Instrument create a new region, alter the boundaries of a region or provide for the merger of two or more regions in the country”.
“The President, shall acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merge”.
Though the provision gives the President some prerogatives in the creation of a particular region, as a democratic state, which promotes human rights and freedoms, it is in the right direction if the government seeks the views of the citizenry in that regard.
It’s a common proof that governance and development become effective in smaller units due to effective supervision and inclusiveness.
But, it is rather unfortunate critics, detractors and political commentators have tagged the whole exercise as a mere attempt to score political points.
These mix-reactions to some extent have nothing to benefit country than to hinder the quest by the government to facilitate accelerated national development.
At a media sensitisation on the proposed creation of the new regions in Sunyani, Mr Dan Botwe, the Minister of Regional Re-organisation and Development affirmed that the move is not to score any political mark or make the government popular.
He explained that the creation of additional regions is an implementation of a constitutional provision based on need and substantial demand of Ghanaians.
Truly, if the comments of the Sector Minister is so, then the idea of the government requires commendation and support, as the process of devolution of power will require that the country looks again and reviews its regional and district structures to promote rapid socio-economic growth and development.
Ghanaians, irrespective of their political backgrounds have no other option rather than to welcome and support the implementation of the constitutional provision of the creation of the new regions
The Proposed Bono East region is expected to split 13 districts and municipalities out of the existing Brong-Ahafo Region.
They will include; Techiman, Wenchi, Kintampo and Nkoranza Municipalities as well as Atebubu-Amantin, Pru, Sene East, Sene West, Nkoranza North, Tain, Banda, Techiman North and Kintampo South and North districts.
Some independent political analysts, industrialists and economists consider the creation of the new Bono East region as a ground breaking given strategy to fast-track development.
Brong-Ahafo region has land size of 39,557 square kilometres and the new Bono East region to be carved out will cover about 24,017 square kilometres.
In fact this vast stretch makes the area the food basket of the region and is endowed with precious mineral resources ranging from Gold, Diamond, Petroleum, lime stone and timber.
But, as most of these valuable resources remain untapped, many people in the area are challenged with poor socio-economic livelihood, deficit in infrastructure, extreme unemployment and poverty.
In the Kintampo South District, geological data available at the Minerals Commission shows that Gold is found in commercial quantities in areas such as; Mansie, Anyima, Amoma and Nansuano.
The Gold deposits as shown on the topographical map of the area cover 1,400 sq.km. Verifiable data proves that diamond deposits exist in commercial quantities.
At Donkro-Nkwanta in the Nkoranza Municipality, exploration undertaken by Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) confirms large quantities of untapped gold covering close to 2,000 sq. km of land area.
Seismic data proves quantities of petroleum deposits untapped at Premuase, a farming community in the Sene East District and history shows that Shell Texaco nearly commenced oil drilling in the area in 1977.
Also the petroleum potential in the voltarian basin covers Nsawkaw and surrounding communities in the Tain District. Ghana National petroleum Corperation (GNPC) commissioned an environmental impact Assessment (EIA) at the basin 2016.
Interestingly, additional four of the Municipal and District Assemblies around the basin cover are in the proposed Bono East Region.
Around New Longoro, a settler community in the Kintampo Municipality, a special type of clay suitable for the production of clinker for cement and other industrial products such as paint and ceramics abound in large quantities.
Several other areas abound quality clay that can be used for same products mentioned earlier.
The proposed East Bono region is also endowed with enormous water resources with the Volta Lake being the main.
From Kintampo Municipality, the river which serves as the main boundary stretching through to Pru district, Sene East district and Sene West district covering a distance of over 460 kilometres and it holds a lot of economic value.
The Lake provides a source of livelihood to many people in the riverine communities and if sustainable fishing is adopted, it can easily transform the socio-economic livelihood of the surrounding communities.
Apart from fishing, the river has large quantities of rosewood – a timber species which has high in the international community for manufacturing of expensive products ranging from automobile furnishing and real estate.
Surprisingly, these fallowed rosewoods found in the lake have become death traps to the fisher folk, as they frequently cause the capsizing of canoes and outboard motors on the Volta Lake.
The Bono East area can boast of an array of human resources; Professors, Engineers, Doctor, Teachers, Technocrats in abundance.
That notwithstanding, political representation has been skewed to the disadvantage of the people for a long time now.
Research shows that since 1959 when the Brong–Ahafo Region was created, only two substantive Regional Ministers have come from the whole of the Eastern corridor.
Of these two Regional ministers, one of them spent only 16 months in office. The area has had only three Deputy Regional Ministers.
The situation is even worse at the national level where the entire eastern corridor of Brong-Ahafo has had no appointment sometimes at the ministerial level.
Therefore, the chiefs and people in the Bono East have received proposals for the creation of the region with extreme joy, regarding the move as an opportunity to showcase the huge economic potentials in the area to attract investment for wealth creation and poverty reduction.