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The Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development, Dan Botwe has denied reports that his ministry has been allocated GHS932 million by the Ministry of Finance for the referendum of the creation of four new regions.
Ahead of the reading of the 2018 budget to parliament on Wednesday, 15 November by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Graphic.com.gh reported that it had learnt that GHS932 million had been set aside for the constitutional exercise.
Four new regions are to be created from the Volta, Brong Ahafo, Western and Northern regions.
In line with the governing New Patriotic Party’s campaign promises, the proposed Oti Region would be carved out of the Volta Region while Brong Ahafo would be split into Brong and Ahafo regions. Also, the Western-North Region would be created out of the Western Region.
However, Mr Botwe has told Moro Awudu of Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show that he is not aware of the hefty amount being reported as allocation to his ministry for the referendum.
“I haven’t seen that; in the first place I didn’t hear that. Yesterday [Thursday, 16 November] some of your colleagues in the media were trying to ask, I didn’t hear that.
“The estimates that have been put before me as monies allocated to my ministry … is just about GHS3.5m or so. But like I explained to your colleagues yesterday, for example any commission that is set up that will have to be moving round the country, you are talking purely of logistics – transport, feeding, accommodation – that’s about it for the commission as they move round the four regions to have stakeholder consultation. So that’s one aspect of the commission’s work.
“And then you have, for example, we’ve been talking to the NCCE, to explain to people what this whole process is about so that they’ll understand it and all that; that will have some budget to it.
“The main one that people are talking about is the work of the EC, yes, there will have to be a referendum because that’s what the constitution says, so if there is a referendum, it will be the budget presented by the EC for the referendum so that’s about all. These are the main components of the work. And one interesting thing about the EC’s work is: they have to do certain things not only because of the referendum but as they do; upgrading of their system for the next five years’ elections that we are going to do, so you may find that maybe something is being done this year or next year in order to kick-start this exercise, but it’s not solely for the referendum,” Mr Botwe said.
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