The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Augustine Collins Ntim, has laid nine Legislative Instruments, 2018 at the plenary to create five new Assemblies out of some existing Assemblies.
The Legislative Instruments laid are to create two new Municipal Assemblies and three new District Assemblies from the Greater Accra Region, Eastern and the Northern Region.
The Legislative Instruments presented by the Deputy Minister include the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018, Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018, Ayawaso Central Municipality Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018, East Gonja Municipal Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018 and the Keta Municipal Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018.
Thereafter, Mr. Ntim laid North-East Gonja District Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018, Birim South District Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018, Achiase District Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018 and Anloga District Assembly (Establishment) Instrument, 2018.
The five proposed Municipal and District Assemblies are the Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly, Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly, North-East Gonja District Assembly, Achiase District Assembly and the Anloga District Assembly.
Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly and Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly have been created out of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in the Greater Accra Region, and North-East Gonja District Assembly has been carved from the East Gonja Municipal Assembly in the Northern Region.
The rest are Achiase District Assembly, carved from the Birim South District Assembly in the Eastern Region, and Anloga District Asembly created from the Keta Municipal Assembly.
The current Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are in total of 254. If the Legislative Instruments laid before parliament are adopted, the creation of the five MMDAs will bring the number to 259.
Legal justification for District Creation
The creation of new districts is justified by the 1992 Constitution and the Local Government Act (Act 462), 1993.
Article 241 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that “parliament may by law, make provision for the redrawing of the boundaries of districts or for reconstituting the districts”.
However, Section 1(2) of the Local Government Act (Act 462) empowers the President by executive instrument to ”(a) declare any area within Ghana to be a district; and (b) assign a name to the district”.
The President in the exercise of his powers, is required “to direct the Electoral Commission to make such recommendations as it considers appropriate for the purpose”
Section 1 (4) of the Act stipulates the criteria of population, geographical contiguity and economic viability, which the Commission and the President should apply in the creation of districts.
Specifically, in terms of population, “(a) for a district, there should be a minimum population of 75,000 people; (b) for a municipality, the minimum population is 95,000 people as well as a geographical area that consists of a single compact settlement; and (c) for a metropolis, the minimum population is 250,000 people”.
In addition, Section 3 empowers the Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to enact a legislative instrument to establish an Assembly for each district, municipality and metropolis.