Why Bawumia Promised $1M, one Constituency
It has been revealed that the main reason for the formulation of the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) 1 constituency US$1 million is because of serious problems the party is currently facing with its constituency executives.
Insiders say the NPP has been plunged into a state of serious apathy at the constituency level following the recent blatant muzzling and sacking of some constituency executives believed to be opposed to the party’s flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo.
Dr. Mahmud Bawumia, the main champion of the 1 constituency US$ 1 million policy was said to have fully supported the flagbearer and his loyalists when they were busy hacking out some constituency executive.
According to reliable party sources, Dr. Bawumia is said to have quickly hatched up this policy after realizing that the plans to suppress some vocal constituency executives had backfired. The NPP thus promised to give each of the 275 constituencies in the country US$ 1 million each year for development projects.
The apathy of NPP constituency executives played out clearly during the recent limited voters registration exercise of the Electoral Commission, the NPP failed to release funds necessary to resource its constituency executives to properly monitor the exercise, asking them to show volunteerism by using their own resources.
This paper gathered that currently several constituency executives of the NPP were so peeved with this directives that many decided to abandon the limited registration exercise.
It is believed that this policy to give 1 million dollars to each constituency is just a ploy to get the constituency executives of the party to work for the party during the elections without resources in return for being given the roles to manage the 1 million constituency development fund if the NPP wins power.
The NPP calls the policy, Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP): But insiders say the policy was a hastily carved policy just to allay fears of NPP constituency executives.
Constituencies in Ghana unlike district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies, do not have government administration structures that would allow them to effectively administer such funds.
According to governance experts, if the NPP intends to use constituencies to usurp the powers of the district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies, it will have to go to an arduous parliamentary process that might take some years to materialize. It is thus unclear how the party intends to reconcile the district assemblies that cut across certain constituencies and who already receive District Assemblies Common Fund.
According to the running-mate of the NPP flagbearer, Dr. Mahmud Bawumia, the IPEP would be administered by three different development authorities, saying the authorities would be directly reporting to the office of the President. The development authorities are namely: The Northern Development authority, the Middle-belt Development Authority and the Coastal Development Authority.
Despite all the details being given by the NPP flagbearer and his running mate about the IPEP; inside sources in the NPP say, the opposition party’s manifesto do not contain this promise and is now being considered to be put in the yet-to-be-finished manifesto of the NPP
The policy has received widespread flak for being deceptive because it was not practical with the current setup of constituencies in Ghana.
Governance experts and critics have challenged the NPP to explain how the fund would work but the party has refused to oblige as it keeps churning out several promises that have been described as not feasible. Some of such promises by the NPP includes the 1 district 1 Factory and the 1 village 1 dam policies that have been rubbished by a cross-section of the Ghanaian public.