Social Commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs has described as ‘provocative’ issues raised by IMANI Ghana, a policy think-tank over the compilation of a new voters’ register.
Contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ he said “IMANI’s presentation was a bit provocative…if you are a politician, you will think their views are one-sided…”
Policy think-tank IMANI Africa suspects a ‘corrupt procurement gig’ in the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new voters’ register.
At the press conference in Accra on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Vice president (in Charge of Research) at IMANI Africa, Bright Simons argued that the EC’s claim that it will cost just about US$56 million to procure a new system is deceitful.
“Turns out it would cost US$15 million to refresh the 30 percent of the existing system that needs refreshing and that it will cost us US$72 million to replace just the hardware plus more for software. Add this to the cost of fresh mass registration, and the total of loss to Ghana of the EC’s actions amount to US$150 million…” he said.
“This is not necessarily about this administration. This has been going on for years and it turns out that we are spending too much. You all have an idea of how much a laptop, camera and scanner costs, and you put it together and add a printer. When someone tells you that it’s US$3,500 to US$4,000, you don’t have to be a genius to know. You have to start wondering whether we are getting value for money. And it is not therefore surprising that countries like Zimbabwe and the like, get it far cheaper than we do. We are spending at most three times more than what Zimbabwe does,” he said.
“When we add all that up, it comes to one simple conclusion that since 2011, it is a lie that we have not bought any new equipment and we’ve spent millions of dollars. From the parliamentary records, we’ve seen almost US$80 million since then buying new things. So if we have to do anything, we just have to do a little more repairs, do a little maintenance, buy a few things, and that will not get you to the US$74 million that they said you need to improve the current system.”
“…If you add all of that, you add contingency and the unnecessary registration of 17 million people all over again, you are getting close to US$150 million of our money being blown for reasons that nobody can explain in this country.”