The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has bemoaned what it said is the lack of resources for the effective discharge of its constitutionally mandated functions.
In the view of the Commission, Ghana’s quest to re-orient the mindset of the citizenry for national development may not materialise, if the NCCE was not seen as the foremost driver of that agenda.
Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Josephine Nkrumah, appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in Accra yesterday said the Commission’s work was being hampered by the lack of resources.
“It is a notorious fact that the NCCE is one of the under-resourced institutions. Particularly amongst the independent constitutional bodies, perhaps, we are the most under resourced but at the end of the day the highest expectation come at our doorstep and every blame is laid at the door of the NCCE.
“We are woefully inadequately resourced. We have almost 260 district offices but as we speak, we have 132 vehicles and out of that 132 vehicles, more than 60 percent of them are over 12 years old.
So even the running cost of maintaining these vehicles is entirely a different challenge for us,” she complained to the committee.
According to Mrs Nkrumah the Commission’s quarterly subversions delayed by months and virtually grinds the Commission to a halt.
“This year, it is only in this month that we were notified that a release [of funds] had come through. Last year, our third and fourth quarter releases did not materialise.
We received our third quarter release (of last year) in January. And we are constantly battling with the most ordinary of things,” she added.
“This year for instance, our regional and district offices have not received any money from the government of Ghana. How do we expect them to work,” she lamented.
She was, however, at a loss how the same state which failed to resource the Commission to work, managed to pay the staff of the Commission “constantly and regularly.”
“I try to find the balance how in one breath we are paid consistently and regularly but in another breath, we are not given the resources and the tools to work. We need to take a second look at it.”
The task of leading the charge to re-orient the minds of the Ghanaian for national development, she said was huge and until the NCCE was seen as a priority entity to drive that process in collaboration with other government agencies and civil society organisations, that objective would come to nought.
Ghana, the NCCE boss noted, continues to lose money on government policies and programmes because the mindset to compliment same has been non-existent due to the lack of resources to take the people through civic education.
“Why do we continue to construct drains and still have people think that rubbish must go into these drains?” She asked.
Probably touched by the lamentations of the NCCE, James Klutse Avedzi, chairman of the committee suggested to the Auditor-General to consider conducting a performance audit into the work of the NCCE to see “whether they are delivering on their mandate and if they are not, what the challenges are.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI