Deputy Majority Leader (Mr. A. O. Aidooh): Mr. Speaker, I second the motion and beg that you consider the Report as read.
The 2007 Annual Estimates of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) was referred to the Special Budget Committee for consideration and report in accordance with the 1992 Constitution and Standing Orders of the House. This was after the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December 2007, on 16th December 2006 by the Minister for
Finance and Economic Planning, hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu. The Committee met with the Chairman of the NCCE, Mr. Laary Bimi, and a technical team from the Commission and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), and reports as follows:
2.1 Reference Documents
To discharge its assigned duties, the Committee availed itself of the following documents:
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
The Standing Orders of the House.
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for preceding years, notably the 2005 and 2006 financial years.
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2007 financial year.
2.2 Aims and Objectives of the NCCE
The NCCE is a constitutionally established institution with a mandate to create, promote and sustain awareness of Constitutional Democracy for the achievement of political, economic and social stability in the country, by stimulating citizens of Ghana to appreciate their civic rights and responsibilities.
In pursuit of this, the NCCE among other things, undertakes the development and implementation of programmes that are aimed at inculcating in the citizenry, their civic rights, duties and responsibilities for their personal well- being and national development.
As part of its responsibility in achieving the aims of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme, the NCCE aims to continue using and intensifying civic education to encourage all citizens to get involved in national governance and to strategize and fight against the many causes of poverty. As part of this, the NCCE has for the next four years, the following objectives and planned activities among others:
i. To ensure and promote peace and stability and prevent as well as manage conflict;
ii. To collaborate with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment on the full participation of the citizenry in the lower levels of governance through civic education;
iii. To advocate as an institution and to collaborate with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports for the introduction of civics for democracy in first and second cycle schools;
iv. To encourage Civic Classes, Civic Clubs and Civic Centres in all districts as well as targeting Civic Education for the vulnerable and socially excluded; and
v. T h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a headquarters building Centre for Civic Education (Democracy House);
vi. Increasing awareness of good governance principles through civic education programmes in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and District
Assemblies on issues relating to mental health and AIDS and with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports for the introduction of ‘Civics for Democracy' into the school curriculum; and
3.0 2006 in Restrospect
In 2006, the Commission undertook the following activities:
i. An Inter-Schools Games Competi t ion organized throughout the country as part of Constitution Week Celebration Activities.
ii. Trained women to increase their participation in the District Assembly Elections and undertook a number o f C i v i c E d u c a t i o n programmes on the human rights of Women with UNDP Sponsorship.
iii. Introduced “The Citizen Project” on a pilot basis in selected schools of the Northern and Greater Accra Regions.
iv. Collaborated with ILO and the MOWAC to conduct research on Child Labour in Ghana.
v. Started constructing a wall around the land it acquired at Legon to house the NCCE headquarters.
vi. Purchased 62 Vehicles for the Commission for civic
vii. Launched Social Auditing in the country project to enhance t r anspa rency and accountability in the effective political process in all the 138 districts.
viii. Trained Management Staff and District Directors on the Social Auditing Project in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation.
4.0 The 2007 Budget Estimates of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE)
For its activities during 2007, a total amount of ¢38.871 billion has been allocated to the NCCE to be disbursed as follows:
Personal Emoluments -- ¢20,507,000,000.00
Administration Expenses -- 12,402,000,000.00
Service Expenses -- 2,368,000,000.00
Investment Expenses -- 3,694,000,000.00
5.0 Observations and Recommendations
5.1 Outlook for 2007
In 2007, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) will pursue the following activities:
i. Building capacity for public
education and dissemination of information on Human Rights and introduce Civic Education and Conflict Prevention in basic schools, through the Civic Education Clubs strategy.
ii. Educate the public through Constitution Week Activities on the Rights and Responsibilities as enshrined in the Constitution and involve al l c i t izens, particularly women, in conflict p reven t ion , management and resolution through civic organizations.
i i i . Support Inst i tut ions and Schemes aimed at informed civic participation in all 138 Districts through the Social Auditing Strategy. In the same vein, the NCCE plans to undertake public education annually in all 138 districts about the dangers of human trafficking and on avenues of safe migration with special focus on sending and receiving districts.
i v. I d e n t i f y a n d p r o m o t e programmes in all 138 Districts that will assist in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in general.
v. Monitor the incidence of Domestic Violence and other violence against women in all 138 Districts.
vi. Strengthen the partnership with the public media to promote civically responsible behaviour
in all 138 Districts placing emphasis on 2008 Elections Sensitization Programme.
vii. Construct the Head Office Building at Legon and complete 40 District Offices which are in various stages of construction.
i. Headquarters Building
The NCCE lamented the fact that over the past few years, it has continuously budgeted for a Headquarters building (Democracy House) and had hoped to finally get the building underway during 2006 as they were allocated an amount of ¢25 billion of HIPC funds for the 2006 financial year. These funds are however, yet to be released so all the NCCE has been able to do is to build a wall around the land to keep trespassers off.
The Committee was informed that the NCCE is really hard pressed for space as they share office space with the Electoral Commission and this is making life difficult for staff of both Commissions, which are both very busy and essentially large institutions. The Committee was informed that the building is to cost between ¢15 and ¢18 billion but so far, only ¢3.5 billion has been allocated the NCCE over the past two years and even that has not been released.
ii. Service Based Institution
The Committee also observed that like the other Constitutional bodies, the core functions of the NCCE are service- based so that their Service line in the budget must not be construed as services in the other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The Committee would therefore like to reiterate that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning