Policy think tank IMANI Africa is calling for an audit into assets procured by the Electoral Commission (EC) but were declared as obsolete hence the need for the procurement of new ones.
According to IMANI Africa, the procurement done between 2016 and 2019 for the equipment currently abandoned amounts to some $60 million.
According to the think tank, it is surprised that the equipment procured within a short period had been abandoned.
In a four-point recommendation following the completion of the EC’s voter registration exercise, IMANI Africa posited that the registration exercise was a waste of resources on a non-existent problem.
It said until such an asset audit is done and the efforts made to stop unjustified procurements by the EC, Ghanaians must not feel secure about the current electoral process.
IMANI Africa in a statement said Ghanaians should not be happy with the EC until the following is done:
“A detailed independent asset audit of the Electoral Commission to account for the 60 million dollars of equipment procured between 2016 and 2019 that it claims have suddenly gone obsolete, deep and complete reconciliation with the Opposition Parties and CSOs whose calls for accountability it has shunned so far. Failure to patch up and open up to scrutiny by all stakeholders will only deepen the rancour, including the ethnocentric tensions, that marred the integrity of the electoral process in many places.”
“A serious national dialogue about strategies to fix the identification and register cleaning issues that remain wholly unresolved due to continued neglect despite the expenditure of tens of millions of dollars of this country’s hard-earned resources over the last decade on the electoral system. Tackle the “Procurement Raj” that has taken hold of the EC and is hell-bent on milking the country at all cost through scheme after scheme,” IMANI indicated.
The policy think tank has already registered its opposition to the decision of the EC to compile a new voters’ register only a few months before the December 2020 polls.
The Executive Director for IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, over the weekend on The Big Issue said the numbers recorded during the mass voter registration exercise would not have been so different if the old register was used.
“This attempt to justify almost 150 million dollars on a totally needless exercise is quite worrying. If you study the trend carefully, the numbers we have seen so far is not necessarily different from what would have been exacted anyway,” he indicated.