Commission of Inquiry into creation of new regions gets 2-month extension to submit report

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo(inset) launching the Inter University Quiz Debate.Photo Michael Ayeh (2)President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has extended the six-month mandate of the Commission of Inquiry into the creation of new regions.

Instead of the initial April 30, 2018 deadline for the commission to submit its report to the President, which elapsed 10 days ago, it now has up to the end of June to do so.

The extension follows a request by the nine-member commission, chaired by Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court judge, for more time to complete its work.

Minister of Regional Re-integration and Development, Dan Botwe announced the extension at a press conference in Accra yesterday.

To give legal backing to the extension, the Constitutional Instrument, 2017 (C.I 105) on the commission, has been amended by CI 107.

The paragraph nine which gives the timeline for submission of the commission’s report now states “The commission shall report, with its findings and recommendations, to the President, by the 30th of June, 2018”.

According to a copy of the CI 107, signed by the President and gazzetted on May 4, 2018, the amendment was made on April 30,, 2018 in exercise of the power conferred on the President under Article 5 of the Constitution.

Explaining the reason for the extension further, Mr Botwe said the commission needed to exhaust all avenues of consultations and critically examine issues brought before them so they could write a thorough report.

He gave the assurance that the government would follow strictly the guidelines provided by the constitution if the commission recommended the creation of new regions.

Pursuant to Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on October 19, 2017 inaugurated the Commission to inquire and make recommendations on the alteration of regional boundaries.

This was after he had referred petitions for the creation of six new regions to the Council of State for advice, which established the substantial need for the creation.

For the past six months, the commission had heard arguments from six petitioners from Western, Volta, Brong Ahafo and Northern Region at an in-camera meeting at Osu Castle and public hearings in various regions and a final one in Accra.

They want Western North carved out of the Western Region; Oti Region split from Volta Region, Savannah and North East regions fragmented from Northern Region, and Ahafo and Bono-East or Bono Guan from Brong Ahafo Region.

Their arguments have been the same; a new region would help accelerate development in their respective enclaves after years of neglect due to their proximity to the region capitals.

The recommendation from the commission would determine if a referendum should be held or otherwise for the creation of new regions.

Proof’d

 

Recapitalisation of banks meant to strengthen capacity of banks – Veep

 

By Claude Nyarko Adams

 

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has reassured banks in the country that government’s recapitalisation initiative is only to ensure banks have capacity to lend and support the private sector in accelerating the country’s economic growth.

 

According to him, the initiative would help address capital challenges in the financial sector and provide enough credit funds needed by the private sector for expansion and growth of business.

 

“The initiative to increase the minimum capital requirements of universal banks is to ensure banks have the capacity to lend to the private sector and support its growth in our joint efforts to deepen economic growth and development,” he stated.

 

Dr Bawumia was speaking in Accra yesterday at the GHANGERIA Rising Conference 2018, the first of an annual event that seeks to engage both Ghanaian and Nigerian businesses about opportunities, practices and challenges in the two countries.

 

On the theme “Harnessing the Business Opportunities in Ghana and Nigeria to Accelerate Inclusive Economic Growth and Development”, it is also expected to enable identification and initiation of profitable businesses that benefit the two countries and their people.

 

Commending the organisers for the event, Dr Bawumia said it was long overdue for Ghanaian and Nigerian businesses to cooperate in identifying business prospects in both countries and increase competitiveness in the sub-region and maximise the opportunities that exist for business in the ever-expanding Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) markets.

 

He said government and its counterpart from Nigeria were thus convinced that support and promotion of private sector-led enterprise was the best and sustainable means to national economic development.

 

In line with this, the Vice President said government was focused on transforming Ghana into the best business-friendly economy in Africa by improving the country’s taxation policy to make available additional working capital for businesses.

 

Policies and strategies that ensures macroeconomic stability including the reduction of the fiscal deficit from 9.3 per cent in January 2017 to the current six per cent as well as reducing inflation rate from 15 per cent and an economic growth from 3.6 per cent to 8.5 per cent, have been pursued by the government as part of drive to create the enabling environment for businesses.

 

Additionally, he said the formalisation of the Ghanaian economy through the introduction of a national identification card, digital address system, online land registration as well as the paperless system at the country’s various ports, was to reduce transaction time and improve revenue.

 

In order to facilitate payments and transfers, Dr Bawumia noted that government was championing the passage of the payment system and electronic transfer Bill into law which was expected to deepen financial intermediation, improve access to credits, movement of funds in the country and as well ensure improvement in financial relations with external trading partners.

 

He said government’s agricultural and industrialisation policies; Planting for Food and Jobs and One District One Factory, were private sector support initiatives to drive productivity, increase farmer incomes through improved input and output management systems and provide jobs to Ghanaians.

 

Nigeria Ambassador to Ghana, Olufemi Michael Abikoye, reiterated the need for the two countries to build and strengthen platforms that necessitate private sector growth and removes impediments for improved trade between the two countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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