There is confusion and uneasy calm at the headquarters of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) over two Nissan Patrol vehicles sent from there to the Volta and Brong-Ahafo Regions but which seem to be missing in transit.
The Independent newspaper said on Thursday that the Commission acquired a fleet of pick-ups for distribution to its district offices across the country, and a number of Nissan Patrol vehicles too for all the ten regional offices to enhance the Commission's ability to perform its activities.
The paper said its investigations have revealed that eight of the regions, the Greater Accra, Central, Eastern, Western, Northern, Upper East and West and Ashanti have since received their Nissan Patrol vehicles, but the Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions are yet to receive their vehicles.
“Our sources within the Commission have alleged that the two Nissan patrol vehicles, contrary to reasons for which they were acquired, have been given to some Commission members (names withheld for now) for their personal use.”
The paper said it also gathered that all Commission members of the NCCE are receiving fixed salaries as permanent workers and at the same time receiving salaries from their various work places.
“Our sources also alleged discrimination against those two regions in respect of the allocation of funds to run the day-to-day activities of their offices, while other funds slated for the Commission's offices in other regions too are allegedly diverted to cater for allowances for Commission members.
Meanwhile, The Independent said it has picked up decibels that at worst could be described as threats of shake up in some of the regional offices of the NCCE.
Sources within NCCE have also alleged that since the Commission members are comfortable with their personal situations they hardly visit regional and district offices regularly to monitor activities and assess the welfare of staff.
Some aggrieved staff challenged the Chairman of NCCE to give reasons why the vehicles for the Brong-Ahafo and Volta Region directors have still not reached their destinations.
When contacted, the Chairman of the NCCE, Mr. Laary Bimi, expressed surprise at the allegations and explained that, the Commission bought 52 vehicles for the operations of the NCCE across the country. The vehicles were bought with cash from the HIPC Fund at a cost of about 8 billion cedis, he added. Mr. Bimi pointed out that, those regions were not given the vehicles because they do not have substantive regional directors, an assertion that has been debunked.
The paper said its inquiries have established that contrary to his assertion, the two regions, Volta and Brong Ahafo have substantive Regional Directors.
Mr. C. K. Nkrurnah, Brong Ahafo NCCE Regional Director told The Independent that "I am a full director and not an acting director," adding that, " I was the Eastern Regional Director of the Commission but was transferred to the Headquarters and subsequently transferred to the Brong Ahafo as the substantive Regional NCCE Director."
He said, he had also heard of the purchase of the ten Nissan Patrol vehicles for the Commission's regional offices, but said he could not explain why his region had not received its vehicle.
The Volta Regional Director of NCCE, Mr. Issaka Zakari also debunked the assertion that he is the acting Director of the Commission in the region. "I am the substantive Volta Region NCCE Director," he told the paper's Volta Region Correspondent.
Mr. Larry Birni however explained that two of the vehicles were cinema vans, one was in operation at the northern part of the country, whilst the other was in the south. He added, there were eight vehicles left for the 10 regions of the country after the 52 vehicles were allocated to officers of the headquarters and other districts in the country.
The NCCE Chairman also explained that the Central Regional Director was also in an Acting capacity, but was given a vehicle because he would soon be going on retirement. The Brong Ahafo and Volta Region offices, he explained, have other vehicles for their operations. They have Toyota Condors, which are fairly new, Mr. Bimi said.
To allegations of discrimination against the Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions, Mr. Bimi expressed utter surprise, and said, there was no basis for such an allegation.
"If any region should say it is being discriminated against, then it should be the two northern regions, which are the Upper East and Upper West, because I have not visited those two regions in the last two or three years," Mr. Birni stated.
Mr. Bimi also disclosed that all Districts in the country have received 15 million cedis for public education of the re-denomination of the cedi. He wondered why this has not been mentioned to the press by those making all those allegations against the Commission.
Culled from The Independent