The brouhaha over the compilation of the new voter’s register seems not to be fading out any time soon, as the electoral management body of Ghana has been in the news for some obvious reasons.
Yesterday, members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament, led by the Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu threw another jabs at the Electoral Commission (EC) for not relying on the data from the National Identification Authority (NIA) for instant verification of its document (Ghana Card) for its upcoming new voter registration.
The Minority Leader who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South Constituency in the Northern Region explained that anyone can present any card reassembling Ghana card at the registration center and no one can be sure of it authenticity.
.But the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs led by the Majority Leader and Minister for the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA), Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu have quickly jumped into the defense of EC.
According to the Majority Leader, there has never been an instance where the electoral management body of Ghana has used the back code data of any of the institutions which cards are used as prove of nationality to instantly verify the authenticity of the cards.
Addressing some members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC), at the Job 600 office complex near Parliament House in Accra, , Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu reacting to the Minority Leader’s assertions debunked claims that the EC is not prepared to compile the new voters’ register.
“It will be fallacious on the part of anybody to say that the Jean Mensa led administration is not prepared to compile the new voters’ register for the conduct of the 2020 general elections slated for 7th December 2020.” He reiterated.
According to him the current commissioners at the commission has saved the country millions of dollars. He explained that after the exit of Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her deputies, the Commission under Mrs. Mensah has secured a very juicy deal that will see the EC procure a brand new and enhanced registration kits for $6.1 million.
The Majority Leader and Minister for the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs further stated that an additional recovery centre will also be procured for $1.3 million, totaling $7.4 million as against the proposed $15 million the then service providers under the watch of Mrs. Osei were charging for the refurbishment of the old system.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu revealed that the EC in a matter of seven years paid $28 million for no work done. He said when the country switched to use the biometric system in 2012 the commission under the tutelage of Mr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the election monitoring body signed an agreement with the handlers of the data to have the system serviced every year at a cost $4 million per-annual.
“It turns out that no servicing had been done all these years and yet from 2013 up to 2018, the nation had to pay $28 million,” Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu insisted.
According to him his side of the House is satisfied with the clear explanation and well detailed program of the Jean Mensah led commission before, during and after the compilation of the new voter’s register as well as the running of the general elections in December.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH