General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communication has expressed doubt at the accuracy of the figures presented by the Electoral Commissioner, of the accrued sum of the media accreditation fees charged during the 2016 general elections.
According to her, while the EC boss explained the charges and amounts paid, she made her own calculations based on the information provided which concluded that the figures did not add up
“When the Chairperson was making her presentation, she indicated that 4,271 applications were received for media persons and they charged them 10 cedis each for the accreditation in addition to that 273 media persons were accredited without any charge because they were at the national collation centre and they paid the centre a total of 42,713 cedis for all these cards that they processed so if you add 4,271 to 273 you get 4, ,544 .
Now by my calculation she said the printer charged them 8 cedi per card without the fee. Multiplying the 8 by the 4,544 will give you 36, 352. She further indicated that they paid 10 cedi because they added VAT to the 8 cedi charge which will be two additional fees and that will bring the total to 45,440 and yet she told us that they paid a total of 42,113 so it does not add up,” the minister said.
The minister noted that since the EC chair had explained that the figures were not definitive but rather estimates, and she claimed that she was not responsible for paying the monies to the printing service, it appears that there is a misrepresentation of facts in the account.
She asked if the EC paid too little or too much to the printers, as well as where the rest of the money was distributed.
Ursula Owusu remarks were in response to the EC chair’s statements when she appeared before parliament on Wednesday. Madam Charlotte Osei clarified that the monies collected from journalists as part of their accreditation fees for the 2016 election coverage, are not missing as is being speculated.
Mrs Osei assured parliament the non-capturing of the monies which included over GHC2.5 million collected from replacing Voter’s ID cards was an ‘oversight’ , as the money was still intact.