The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has urged the government to increase the budgetary allocation for the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) in the 2021 budget.
He believes more resources for the NCCE will help it fight negative perceptions some Ghanaians have against the COVID-19 vaccines.
Government has in the 2021 budget, presented last week, allocated an amount of GHS4,291,295 to NCCE for its work.
According to Ablakwa, the amount means a reduction in the amount allocated to the NCCE in the 2020 budget which was GHS7 million.
“This business of classifying Government Communication as a Government Flagship Programme and allocating hefty sums (GHS6 million in 2020 and GHS4 million in 2021) must stop. Note that the Ministry of Information has a separate budget. Meanwhile, the Goods and Services budget for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has been drastically cut from GHS7,016,420 in 2020 to GHS4,291,295 in the 2021 budget.”
“I humbly suggest that government reallocates that GHS4 million to the NCCE. It’s not late to rethink this,” he urged in a post on social media.
Government had earlier expressed its satisfaction with the vaccination programme as over 400,000 people have already taken the jab.
The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the government is encouraged by the high turnout at the various vaccination centres.
“We noticed that the hesitancy levels we recorded in our baseline survey of about 60% has all now gone gradually coming down and even in some places there is even a rush with people even ready to pay for the vaccine for which are dealing with,” he said.
Below is the full statement from Mr. Ablakwa
This business of classifying Government Communication as a Government Flagship Programme and allocating hefty sums (GHS6million in 2020 and GHS4million in 2021) must stop. Note that the Ministry of Information has a separate budget of GHS132,197,427.
Meanwhile, the Goods and Services budget for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has been drastically cut from GHS7,016,420 in 2020 to GHS4,291,295 in the 2021 budget.
One would have thought that during a pandemic where credible public education is a critical requirement to fight vaccine hesitancy and all the conspiracy theories out there, the NCCE budget would rather have been raised substantially and government communicators asked to take a rest. In any case, it is trite knowledge that in periods like these, the general public prefers to listen to non-partisan experts and not government propagandists.
I humbly suggest that government reallocates that GHS4million to the NCCE. It’s not late to rethink this.
Don’t squeeze out additional taxes from the people in these tough times only to fund government propaganda as a flagship programme.