President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, is of the view that the 38 newly created local assemblies are needless.
Mr. Cudjoe argued that some of the existing ones are struggling and that government should have put measures in place to boost their capacities instead of bringing new ones on-board.
“There’s basic geographic information that tells you that even if you want to do these type of division, at least look for some agglomeration of activity. You assume that you have to create it before the activities come, no. The districts are barely $1.5 billion worth averagely. You need to build the capability of the existing ones,” he noted.
Franklin Cudjoe made the remark on Saturday on Citi FM’s current affairs and news analysis programme, The Big Issue. Government last Thursday, [March 15, 2018], simultaneously inaugurated all the 38 new districts including others that had been elevated to municipal status across the country.
The Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, had explained earlier that most of the new districts were existing constituencies, but were only carved out from their mother assemblies to make them stand alone.
But Franklin Cudjoe insisted that if government had done feasibility studies on the revenue generation capabilities of the existing districts, “they [government] would have seen that there is no need to add more to it.”
“With proper information…we would have seen that we probably don’t need to do all of these. I was driving from Kumasi all the way to Tamale and I was amazed at the vast expanse of lands I was seeing lying idle. Then I asked myself, 38 new districts have been inaugurated, possibly some of these districts will fall within this vast expanse of lands. There will be human beings supervising vast waste lands. And we will be paying the person so they will be DCEs over nothing,” he remarked.