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14.01.2017 Feature Article

Ashanti Region Biggest Loser: Akufo Addo's Million-Dollar Cash To Voting Districts (3)

Ashanti Region Biggest Loser: Akufo Addo's Million-Dollar Cash To Voting Districts (3)
LISTEN JAN 14, 2017

As it turns out, under President Akufo Addo's IPEP, (i.e., the $1M Per Constituency program), every resident in Greater Accra would receive just 54% of what those in Upper West would receive. On the other hand, every resident in Ashanti Region would receive just 63% of what those in Upper West would receive...Many people now hyping "decentralization" may of course not quarrel with Greater Accra receiving just 54% of what Upper West (winner) receives. However, we are not entirely sure how that inequity must apply to Ashanti Region (biggest loser by -$6,296,458.00)...Under this scheme, other losers include Western...Central...Volta...Without any other considerations or adjustments, Ashanti, Greater Accra, Western, and Central all get screwed by the NPP under their own plan for infrastructure development in Unitary Ghana...You must take or give...However, when we take or give, regions are not going to get "the equivalent of $1M" based even on the number of "constituencies"...And, there will be additional cost, including administration, which they've not talked about...We estimate administrative costs alone to be 1.5% - 5% of the total allocation of $275M, in addition..., if professionally run, (i.e., without corruption, waste, etc)....What Option (A, B, or C) must the Akufo Addo government take?...", Prof Lungu, 12 Jan 17).

In this final paper (Parts I, II, and III will be published as one paper at www.GhanaHero.Com, shortly*), we present more data. We show that in addition to constitutional muster, conceptually, going strictly by what has been communicated about the cash payments, the $1 million-per-voting district- per-year program is a deeply flawed talk-talk. That is, if President Akufo Addo and Vice President Bawumia still want Ghanaians to believe in the promise they made.

It can be done. And President Akufo Addo and Dr. Bawumia can call the program whatever they want. The program is listed as the "Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) in the 2016 NPP Manifesto. But, everybody knows the program as $1M Per Constituency Payments, including those who do not understand the difference between a "Voting District" and an "Administrative District".

Oddly, having taken all the funds in the name of "Constituents", President Akufo Addo will turn over those funds to an additional new layer of government, namely, "three Development Authorities - Northern Belt, Middle Belt, and Coastal Belt". In practice, these "authorities will not develop any resource. Rather, they will re-distribute those funds from existing central source to the "constituents" who can build pretty much any infrastructure. The most charitable we can say of the scheme is that it is a mighty duplicative way to run Ghana. While those 3 new agencies will now spread across every corner of Ghana, Akufo Addo this week has announced his intent to also create at least 4 more regions. In addition, he has actually ordered the creation of at least 12 new ministries (among them Special Development Initiatives, Planning, Inner City and Zongo Development, Business Development, Regional Reorganisation, Development, Monitoring and Evaluation Ministry, etc,). However, not one of those 12 new ministries were mentioned in the 2016 NPP Manifesto.

Whatever they call the $1M per voting district scheme, it would require (1) authority for the scheme be derived from the Constitution of Ghana, and (2) adjustments be made to ensure Regions and their Administrative Districts (and the number of people in the Regions, most of all), not "voting districts, are the ultimate targets, by law and administrative direction.

All of Akufo Addo-Bawumiaa conundrum with respect to the $1 million-per-voting district is explained in the simple data we present in this final paper.

21ST CENTURY GLOBAL AGE REQUIRES MORE DATA THAN TALK-TALK:

In the previous papers we established that next to getting the area of analysis (Administrative Districts for instance, vice Voting Districts) correct, it is also crucial to utilize the appropriate unit of analysis for the needs and deficiencies we seek to assist, that is PEOPLE who live in COMMUNITIES (not voters on the Electoral Commission's list).

A "voting district" is not a "place"!

A "voting district" is at bottom a partisan device once outside the purview of the peoples' Electoral Commission, and outside the hands of objective people.

Akufo Addo's New Patriotic Party (NPP) has absolutely no right to employ "Voting Constituencies" for the purpose they've announced.

It is people and communities, stupid! The argument is simply this: As much as possible, after everything is said and done, and without regard to "voters", every woman, man, and child in each Region ought to receive the same amount, per capita. Further, it is precisely due to this fundamental imperative that the sum of $275,000,000 per annum is not entirely accurate or complete, even for 275 Voting Districts, which as we've noted is inappropriate to use. That imperative recognizes that the size of the populations differ whatever unit of analysis we us.

And in addition, there will surely be administrative cost(s) related to distribution of all that cash, (i.e., program management, if you will).

If you've only allocated $275M and you've told Ghana that everyone on of the 275 constituency will get $1M, you have not included the cost for administration. That is, even if all the government does is transfer the cash through the banking system electronically. Someone must pay for those services. Banks, after all, exist to make money.

Alternatively, if we want to continue to be absent-minded, poor at planning, and still corrupt (remember that Dr. Bawumia says the people can do whatever they please with the cash), the government could send all that cash with some officials on chartered aircrafts to the nearest airfield, care of Ms. Cecilia Abena Dapaah at the Aviation Ministry, who would order employees to truck the funds to the people, wherever they are.

It helps to take liberty to be ridiculous, once in a while, you know!

To the point, $275M ain't the total cost. It ain't gonna cut it if every "district" will in fact receive "the equivalent of $1 million. Even less so, if Akufo Addo's government intends to ensure the greatest outcomes with little loss to corruption, negligence, loss from liability, etc. Shouldn't all those cost be added to the amount of the award so the people know as best as possible how much it would actually cost?

See "Basic Data with Adjusted 2015 Population" of 27,409,893. The Akufo Addo-Bawumia payments have been aggregated by Region/Constituencies in Columns "H" and "F", below:

Employing the 2015-adjusted-population for Ghana in the 10 Regions and 275 constituencies, our summary review of the data shows that under the Akufo Addo's proposal, every person in every Region would be entitled to $10.03 (275,000,000/27,409,893) per year, regardless of what Voting District they have been assigned by the Electoral Commissioner.

Sadly for Dr. Bawumia, due to variations in the number of people in each region as we've discussed, there would also be variations in the amount of payment to each person in each Region. As such, the problem for President Akufo Addo's new government, if we must entertain their proposal one more time, is that on per capita basis, there would be big winners and as a result, big losers.

THERE WILL BE WINNERS & LOSERS, DO YOU CARE?:

Recall that we've calculated an average cost of $10.03 per capita, with Vice President Bawumia's own numbers. In this case, Upper West (pop. 780,441/11 Constituencies), Upper East (pop. 1,163,303/15 Constituencies), and Brong Ahafo (pop. 2,568,809/29 Constituencies) would receive $11,000,000.00, $15,000,000.00, and $29,000.000, respectively. So, due to the differences in the size of the population, Upper West, Upper East and Brong Ahafo would receive $14.09, $12.89, and $11.29 per capita, respectively. These Regions are what we've characterize as "Winners", by different amounts, obviously. (For example, a Brong Ahafo resident would receive just 94% of what a resident in Upper West would receive).

But it gets a lot worse, as you can see!. On the other side of the ledger, every person in Greater Accra (pop. 2,354,576/34 Constituencies), Ashanti (5,313,705/47 Constituencies) and Volta (pop. 4,457,437/26/ 26 Constituencies), would receive $34,000,000.00, $47,000,000.00, and $26,000,000.00, respectively. Here again, on account of the differences in the size of the population, Greater Accra, Ashanti and Volta Ahafo residents would each receive $7.63, $8.85, and $11.04 per capita, respectively. These Regions are what we characterize as "Losers", again, by different amounts as you can see.

As it turns out, every resident in Greater Accra would receive just 54% of what those in Upper West would receive. On the other hand, every resident in Ashanti Region would receive just 63% of what those in Upper West would receive.

Under the NPP scheme, while Greater Accra would receive $10,708,094 less given the size of the population, Ashanti Region would also receive $6,296,458 less.

Given all the resources that have gone to Great Accra over the years, and still does, we must conclude that it is in fact Ashanti Region that would be the most disadvantaged based on the size of the population.

Many people now hyping "decentralization" may of course not quarrel with Greater Accra receiving just 54% of what Upper West (winner) receives. However, we are not entirely sure how that inequity must apply to Ashanti. Under the plan, Western Region's $9.84 per capita be the fairest, but still $0.19 les compared to our average of $10.93.

This is what the data says! Next, see above graphic above! Again, remember that we've calculated an average award of $10.03 per capita for all regions/persons, seen as the green horizontal line nearest $10.00.

Without any other considerations or adjustments, Ashanti, Greater Accra, Western, Central, all gets screwed by the NPP under their plan for infrastructure development of Unitary Ghana as pitched to the people. However, when we adjust, Regions are not going to get "the equivalent of $1M" based the number of "constituencies", even.

We do not know about the reader! We are thinking Greater Accra receiving less from this program may not break many peoples' hearts. However, to propose that a person in the Ashanti Region would receive almost 50% less demonstrates the internal incoherence of the program and as such, doubt about constitutional muster.

PRESIDENT AKUFO ADDO MUST TAKE AWAY OR GIVE TO BE FAIR:

Considerations or adjustments means that President Akufo Addo and Vice President Bawumia must take extra from, or give extra to, in order to ensure they meet their "equivalent $1M" promise, even to "Voting Districts", which, as we've said, is bad public policy. (Again, the proper unit for the payments are the administrative districts, not the "constituents").

Per graphic above, President Akufo Addo and Vice President Bawumia must allocate to each person in Greater Accra, Ashanti, and Central Regions the additional sum of $2.40, $1.18, $0.63 per person, respectively, to equalize payments to the winners on the other end. (This is "Option A", for ease of reference).

Or, if they rather prefer, they can take from Upper West, Upper East, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Northern, Volta, the equivalent of $4.06, $2.87, $1.26, $1.24, $1.22, $1.01, per person, in order to equalize payments to the losers at the bottom. (This is "Option B").

Or, to the extent Accra still takes a lot more, President Akufo Addo and his Vice President can actually take from Greater Accra as much as they want and divvy it up to the losers at the bottom, including Ashanti. This is "Option C". In this case, Accra would not get $2.40 per capita from Option A which puts Greater Accra at the original Akufo Addo-Bawumia payment of $34,000,000, representing an "underpayment" of $10,708,094 per our "Loser Wall of Shame" graphic below. That $10,708,094 still leaves a balance of $9,034,382. President Akufo Addo and Vice President Bawumia would finally have to take an additional $9,034,382. That $9,034,382 would go to Ashanti, Central, and Western regions, in the proportion of their "loses" as shown in that same chart.

When Akufo Addo and Bawumia they take or give to adjust for "equity and equivalence", (Option A or B), and for the disproportionate resources that go to Greater Accra, (Option C), they would have found a Ghana-centered solution without regard to other planning factors some of which we've discussed in Part I and Part II of our paper.

As such, the other trouble (or you could call it "opportunity") for President Akufo Addo and Vice President Bawumia is that only Option C begins to address Akufo Addo's announced intention to decentralize administration from Accra, to the other regions. However, from by their plan and the dataset alone, President Akufo Addo cannot prioritize Western Region ahead of Ashanti or Central Regions, without other more severe adjustments.

Below, find the scoop on the -$19,000,000 negative losses by Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, and Western regions. We call it the "Akufo Addo-Bawumia $1M Awards: Losers Wall of Shame".

For Ashanti Region, the loss of $1.18 per person would result in a negative $6,296,458. Again, the loss of $2.40 per person in Greater Accra where everything happens, (total $10.7 million), where all the moneys stays, where all the fat cats want to live and play, that may or may not cause any sweat. But, if you are Ashanti Region, in the second tier, one of the neglected Regions outside Greater Accra Region, a $6,296,458 loss every year can go a mighty long way to further depress your economy and people, deeper, in virtual fratricide fashion. Conversely, a $19M equity payment in 3 year alone can do some wonders, if all that money is in fact invested in "infrastructure".

So, where do you, your friends, and family really fall?

Greater Accra? Ashanti? Central? Western? Do you really know the difference and import between/of Administrative Districts and Voting Districts?

Would you recommend Option A, B, or C to President Akufo Addo?

Do you have your own idea based on our more objective criteria, population?

Do you care? CONCLUSION: Call it what they want. The $1M Per Constituency program requires (1) authority for the scheme be derived from the Constitution of Ghana, and (2) adjustments be made to ensure Regions and their Administrative Districts, based on the number of people in the Regions. And we've explained all of the Akufo Addo-Bawumia conundrum!

The preceding graphic titled, "NPP $1 Million Per Voting District: Equity & Fairness by Population", without rounding, is the more equitable and administratively justifiable funding plan if we want to utilize approximately 20% of the $1.6 billion estimated for infrastructure development most closest to the people. On that chart, again using the non-recommended unit area (voting district), the average payment per voting district is actually $999,734.

Now, for those who claim Dr. Bawumia sometimes play fast-and-lose with numbers, that $999,734 average payment is $1M before rounding.

$1M is $1M. The problem for Dr. Bawumia though, is that being average, not all Regions will receive that amount for all their Voting Districts.

Seriously, still, in the above preferred, administratively valid scheme, Ashanti Region receives $53,296,458 (19.39%), and Greater Accra, $44,708,094 (16.26%). commensurate with population. On the other hand, while Volta receives $23,616,392 (8.59%), and Upper East, $11,671,274 (4.25), Upper West would receive $7,830,068 (2.85%), all in proportion to population. Every other region would fit between the two groups and would be none the poorer, an equitable outcome having been achieved.

What Option must the Akufo Addo government take, Option A, B, or C?

Dear reader, the biggest idea at bottom of this paper is this: Needless confusion between voting districts on one hand, and administrative districts (or NVDTCRs) on the other, could have been avoided by President Akufo Addo and Dr. Bawumia if they had perhaps been more objective and less partisan. From our reading of the "Wall of Shame", we imagine they reckon their plan to elect District Executives would not assure the NPP easy votes, compared to the effort to pitch their $1M plan to "Constituencies".

Administrative Districts already exist. But, Voting Districts are not places or communities. It is for that very reason President Akufo Addo and Dr. Bawumia will never be able to find a constitutional basis for their Voting District-based proposal, as eminent a lawyer as Akufo Addo is, except perhaps through politics, politricks, and crooked Kangaroo justice.

Again, we must emphasize that the program is doable!

However, President Akufo Addo Dankwa and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia must use the statutory Administrative Districts, coordinated at the Regional level, consistent with regional and national development planning principles and priorities.

It is not a wise or accountable president who orders $1M to all manner of sub-national authorities that do not even have staff, and them affirms to them they alone can choose "any infrastructural project they want" for themselves. The responsible national government would order the National Development Commission to coordinate, charter proposals (including Master Plans and such discussed in Part I of this paper), evaluate, report, recommend, supervise, and execute, in coordination with all other stakeholders and communities in each Region. All of that go to our point on additional costs, including administration, as we've noted more than once.

The plan has power to spur professionalism in city, town, and regional planning, surveying, mapping, conflict management, education, money-multiplier effects, etc., in addition to built infrastructure.

But, all of those "good" stuff will take extra money, still an investment in Ghana.

We estimate administrative, supervision, and incidental costs to range between 1.5% to 5% of the total allocation of $275M, from a low $4.1 million to a high $13.7 million, in addition. This would result in a rough order annual estimate of $289 million at the high end for "Akufo Addo's Million-Dollar Cash", to administrative districts, through the regions.

But those funds ought not go to Election Commission "Voting Districts", not by any mean!

NOTES/SOURCES: 1. NVDTCR (NVD-TCR) - Short-hand for Neighborhoods, Villages, Districts/Administrative, Towns, Cities, Regions, all "places" in community and development planning nomenclature. Could include Census Districts. Operationally and conceptually appropriate focus areas for administration and planning, as contrasted with "Voting Districts" that are developed to facilitate elections.

2. If you are reading this paper on Ghanaweb, you may not be able to see the graphics that are necessary for easily understanding the content of the paper. This paper is crossed posted with ModernGhana, SpyGhana, and other online portals. In addition, the final will soon be posted on www.GhanaHero.Com/Visions.

3. Each constituency will get $1m every year under NPP - Bawumia, (http://pulse.com.gh/politics/election-2016-each-constituency-will-get-1m-every-year-under-npp-bawumia-id5437995.html).

4. New Patriotic Party (NPP) Manifesto for Election 2016, Change: An Agenda for Jobs, Creating Prosperity & Equal Opportunity For All.

VISIT WWW.GHANAHERO.COM/VISIONS, FOR MO' INFORMATION:

FOIB - Freedom of Information Bill (FOIB/FOI/Ghana), Ask for it! (http://ghanahero.com/FOIB.html).

SUBJ: Ashanti Region Biggest Loser: Akufo Addo's Million-Dollar Cash to Voting Districts (Part 3). Sequel to "Winners and Losers: Akufo Addo's Million-Dollar Cash Giveaways to Voting Districts, Part I and Part II", by Prof Lungu.

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Brought to you courtesy www.GhanaHero.com©13 Jan 17.

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Professor N. Lungu
Professor N. Lungu, © 2017

The author has 183 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: ProfLungu

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