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Franklin Cudjoe on the Actions of the National Identification Authority and the Electoral Commission

“I sincerely hope the National Identification Authority is not asserting its authority in order not only to cause potential harm to ordinary Ghanaians who have been asked to defy warnings against Corona virus and line up to be registered, but also in total disregard for international and national directives. What I fail to understand however, is the careless willingness of those fellow Ghanaians who are lining up to go register for these cards in perilous times as if the card will guarantee them immunity from Corona virus or even better get them free food. You are risking your lives. The NIA must shut down operations NOW!

As for the Electoral Commission, they are just confused. While Corona has provided a perfect cover from inflicting their $150m tax-wasting haste on us on April 18, they want to deny millions of registered voters the opportunity to vote in the coming elections by simply nullifying their status and asking them to go and procure passports at their own expense and national identification cards. Could all these millions procure these new identities under the circumstances? Why not just conduct a limited registration for new voters and use the robust existing biometric systems to de-duplicate multiple registration. Afterall when we did same in 2015, the biometric systems fished out 150,000 multiple registrations and gave us an impressive elections in 2016. We have since been refurbishing the systems and they are in such excellent shape, the EC itself was full of praise for its delivery at the just concluded district level elections. In fact, the EC chair said the success of the December 2019 elections gave them so much confidence to prepare for the relatively ‘manageable presidential and parliamentary elections’. So, the EC should simply conduct a limited voter registration, have the entire register provisionally ready, exhibit it to have it checked for multiple registrations, complete legal challenges and adjudications and present finalised register to political parties and then the EC would have served us responsibly. All of these will only cost us $35m – ( $15m for refurbishing and buying a few extra BVRs and BVDs to cater for increased polling stations) and ($20m for limited registration based on previous expenditure) INSTEAD of spending $80m on new biometric hardware and softwares and $70m on conducting a fresh but unneeded register. That is a massive saving of almost $120m that could be used in preparing us for Corona virus.

No need to go asking the World Bank and IMF any money yet!”-

Franklin Cudjoe,

Founding President and CEO, IMANI CPE. 


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