Sheikh Aremeyawo Shaibu
The Spokesperson for the National Chief Imam and Co-Chairperson of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Sheikh Aremeyawo Shaibu, has described arguments against the compilation of a New Biometric Voters Register as unconvincing.
Some Ghanaians including some civil society groups and the Inter Party Resistance Against New Voters Register have kicked against the EC’s decision to compile a new voter’s register.
They have argued that the step taken by the Electoral body is needless and a drain on Ghana’s economy.
As a result, they have embarked on several protests to drum home their point.
However, speaking on TV 3’s weekend news analysis programme, ‘The Key Points’, on Saturday, January 25, 2020, Sheikh Aremeyawo Shaibu, said since political parties who are against the compilation of a new register have so far not presented any convincing argument, they have no choice than to mobilize their supporters and sympathizers to register when the time comes.
According to him, “So far, the arguments being advanced by the parties who are against the EC’s decision to compile a new voters register have been unconvincing.”
He stated that “instead of spending their limited resources and energies embarking on these needless demonstrations, I will advise them to rather invest their energies and efforts in mobilizing their members to go and register.”
The Electoral Commission headed by Jean Mensa, has stated that it will save as much as GH¢ 170 million with the acquisition of the new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS).
The Commission said the total cost of maintaining the old Biometric System is $74, 364, 500 while the total cost for the new BVMS system is estimated at $56,000,000.
The costs include Biometric Voter Registration Kits (BVR) kits and the Biometric Verification Devices (BVD).
Giving a further breakdown of the cost of the entire process, it said the total cost of using the old BVR system for the 2020 election is $38, 692,500.00.
This includes: the cost of refurbishment of some BVR kits used in 2016 and the acquisition of new ones.
The number of kits used in the 2016 registration was 5,500 and the number of kits that were refurbishable was 1,500 and the unit cost of refurbishment was $3500, pegging the total cost of refurbishment at $5,250,000.
The EC further posits that the nation also needs an additional 6500 kits at a unit cost of $5,145, pegging the total cost of additional kits at 33,442,500.
However, for the new system, the number of BVR kits required for the 2020 election is 8,000 at a unit cost of $3,000.00, pegging the total cost for the new BVR @$24,000000.
Similarly, the EC intends to acquire some 80,000.00 BVD kits at a unit cost of $400.00 making a total of $32M compared to the $ 35,672,000.00 if it takes the path of refurbishing and purchasing additional BVDs from the previous vendor.
The EC opted against the proposal of the previous vendors to upgrade and refurbish their current data centers and its equipment for a combined build and 1-year maintenance cost of $ 19M for completely new data centers equipment with current systems for a combined build and 3-year maintenance cost of $7M.