Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has revealed that the Electoral Commission (EC) expended Gh¢310 million in the lead-up to the District Level Elections which was later annulled by a Supreme Court ruling.
He said the annulment of the District Level Elections meant government would have to make additional funds available to the EC to enable it to restart the process.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the revelation when he opened the 4th Regional Ministers Conference of the sixth government of the Fourth Republic, which is underway at Elmina in the Central Region.
The three-day conference, which is on the theme: “Working together with the 7th District Assemblies for national development” is also being attended by Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Chief Executives (MMDCEs), Chief Directors and Heads of institutions.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision declared the District Level Elections, which was slated to take place on March 3, 2015, as unconstitutional.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur also urged the appropriate state institutions, which has the authority to extend the mandate of the current assembly to do so, to avert a management gap at the assemblies.
He admonished the Regional Ministers and the MMDCEs to use the country’s scanty resources judiciously, especially in the wake of the EC’s expenditure on the botched District elections, which he noted, was clearly a waste of national resources.
He stated that with the IMF’s bailout in the pipeline, government was going to ensure effective and prudent use of statutory funds in order to cut down wastage.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur further called on the Ministers to learn to work together with their Deputies. His statement comes in the wake of the conflict between the former Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel K. Sarpong and his Deputy, Joseph Yammin, which led to their dismissal from office.
He said Regional Ministers and Deputies working together in the regional administration was very important since most of the Deputy Ministers are younger than their bosses and as such must learn and develop so that they can takeover in the future.
He therefore charged the Ministers to delegate some of their duties to their Deputies to enable them to learn and take on responsibilities as well as tolerate dissenting views.
Mr Nii Lante Vanderpuje, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development called for cooperation among the Regional Ministers, MMDCEs, Chief Directors and traditional authorities since the implementation of government programmes, policies and projects would have to be with the chiefs of the various communities.
He said the government is interested in bringing development to the doorstep of the people and that the key ingredients of that chain are the traditional authorities.
He said the conference would afford regional ministers the opportunities to review the performance of their roles and the implementation of government policies, programmes and projects.
Mr Vanderpuje said the conference would evaluate the monitoring role of the Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies as well as interacting with key resource persons at the forefront in the implementation of government policies in order for them to be updated on the objectives of the polities.
He said this would enable them to have a better appraisal of those policies in the discharge of their duties towards the welfare of the people.
It would also help the Regional Ministers to interact with the Chiefs and stakeholders of the country.