President of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education Franklin Cudjoe thinks allowing the to NIA handle Ghana’s 2024 elections is going to save the state some money rather than leaving it for the EC.
According to Mr. Cudjoe, the Electoral Commission’s insistence on the Ghana card as the sole document to add eligible voters to the electoral role due to NIA’s fool-proof authentication system as the EC claims should relieve the state of some financial burden especially in these hard times.
In a Facebook post made by the IMANI boss, he said the initiative will save Ghana about GH₵700 million.
“The Electoral Commission (EC) believes the National Identification Authourity’s ( NIA) Card is the only fool-proof card every Ghanaian needs to be registered on the voter roll. In fact, in the last election 10 million out of 13.2 million voters registered with the NIA card. So why not allow the NIA to manage the elections without the need of the EC?
“NIA’s officers can be deployed with their verification machines. Afterall the NIA card has every holder’s biometric details and needed profile such as age, sex, occupation etc. The system will accept only card holders aged 18 and above.
“We will be saving at least GHS 700m out of a potential GHS 1.5bn that may be budgeted for the EC to manage the elections. We also stand to save millions of dollars that the EC might suggest may be needed to upgrade their biometric verification systems,” he wrote.
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The EC Chair during a briefing to Parliament Tuesday, February 28, 2023 told the House the use of the Ghana Card as the sole identification document for continuous voters’ registration will guarantee the credibility and integrity of the country’s voter register and aid elections as a whole.
Mrs. Mensa told the MPs the Ghana card will prune the register of any excesses that may compromise the document’s integrity.
While eliminating the guarantor system which was prone to abuse and promote conflicts and violence, she said it would also prevent costly, time-consuming and tedious follow-up exercises by the district registration review committee established nationwide.
Whilst some MPs raised concerns about the possibility of the new C.I disenfranchising eligible voters, Mrs. Adukwei Mensa said that will not be the case.
“The continuous registration process on the contrary will be inclusive as it will make it possible to capture all those who would otherwise have been excluded in a limited registration process.
“The exercise is not a periodic or limited one that could lead to disenfranchising persons who do not possess the Ghana Card.
“More especially it will prevent unqualified persons from influencing our elections and having a say as to who should govern our country. This is an issue that borders on the sovereignty of our nation. Simply put, only eligible Ghanaians must be entitled to vote,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Professor Ken Attafuah, insisted that his outfit was ready to issue Ghana cards to eligible citizens voters to aid the EC in the registration process.
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By Felix Anim-Appau|Onuaonline.com|Ghana