NCCE spends GH¢1 million on district level elections and aborted referendum
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) says it has spent GH¢1 million creating awareness and educating the public on the upcoming December 17 district-level elections as well as the aborted referendum.
According to the Chairperson of the Commission, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, the GH¢1 million was given to the NCCE by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to handle the communication campaign of the elections.
“We were kindly sponsored by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. We didn’t have direct funding from government of Ghana to carry out the district level elections and referendum on the awareness-raising and education…. We were given a million cedis and as we speak, we’ve dissipated all of those resources and that is not cheap money for NCCE,” Ms Nkrumah said in a television interview on Joy News.
“You look at all the work you did and you are like wow, so all of this and it’s been called off. I think it was a real opportunity for us as Ghanaians in terms of local governance, in terms of reforms and in terms of where collectively as a people we wanted local governance to go. It’s a golden opportunity that we’ve all missed,” she added.
Ms Nkrumah said the combined campaign programmes have however created a better understanding among the populace on the need to participate in local government elections.
“For NCCE, on the premise that the referendum was riding on the back of district-level elections, we continue to carry out with our work. Perhaps there’s been some good that has come out of this. People are beginning to understand the importance of local governance people are beginning to appreciate that that is where real change can be made,” she said.
Moving forward, the NCCE chair said her outfit would now focus on creating more awareness on the district level elections.
“We have pumped money into adverts, jingles…on one side we were doing the referendum and on the other side we were doing the district level elections. So, what it is for us, is to curtail education on the referendum and continue to speak about district-level elections,” she said.
President Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, December 1, 2019, directed the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to withdraw the Constitution Amendment Bill 2018 that sought to amend Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to enable political parties participate in local level elections.
The President’s explanation was that there was lack of broad, national consensus among key stakeholders and the populace. The subsequent withdrawal of the Bill from Parliament on Monday meant that there was no need for the planned December 17, 2019 referendum.