Mr Henry Quartey, Minister-designate for Greater Accra Region

Minister-designate for Greater Accra, Henry Quartey, has expressed support for separation of the capital of the Greater Accra Region from the national capital.

According to him, even though the call is a laudable one, pursuing such a programme would require taking cognizance of the financial challenges involved.

The nominee said this in response to whether he would back proposals to take the national capital to Dodowa so Accra will remain the capital of Greater Accra and the commercial capital.

Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central Constituency and a former Deputy Minister for the Interior, was speaking at the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday when he took his turn to be vetted.

According to him, due to the rapid urbanization of Accra moving the administrative capital to Dodowa would be ideal.

Accra became the administrative capital of the then Gold Coast in 1877 when the British colonial authority transferred the seat of government from Cape Coast.

The nominee pointed out that moving the administrative capital will effectively decongest Accra just as Nigeria went through moving the administrative capital to Abuja.

He said, “It is a good idea but it entails a lot.”

“Parliament would have to play a key role in this so yes, it is a good idea and I will invite my friend to join me so we can begin the process.”

Speaking on the ongoing standoff between allodial owners of the Accra lands and the government, the Minister-designate indicated this challenge has been in existence for very long because Accra continues to be a cosmopolitan region.

He argued that in regions where executive instruments for the acquisition of lands for the state does not exist, the land tenure system has not suffered such misunderstanding.

“Unfortunately, Greater Accra hosts administration of the country and government may need land for a particular purpose that it did not need five years, for example, the National Cathedral,” he said.

He stated that the Kufuor administration started the processes of releasing some government-acquired lands to the Ga indigenes, which the Atta-Mills government pursued.

The contention, he said, has always been that state lands are often not returned to the allodial owners when there is no more state need for them but are rather sold out to individuals and cited the Nigeria Embassy and the Osu Traditional Council impasse as an example.

SOURCEBy Al-Hassan
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