#BawumiaSpeaks: contradictions on number of CCTV cameras installed

In his presentation on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, at Ashesi University, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said the current government’s investment in technology was unmatched.

He said the government had installed 10,000 CCTV cameras across the country to assist the police with fighting crime.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and finds inconsistencies in similar claims made by the president and national security minister on the number of CCTV cameras installed.

Claim: “…You are likely to be caught if you break the law. This is why we have installed 10,000 CCTV cameras since 2017. The cameras have helped the police to solve a number of crimes such as the arrest of suspects in a recent bullion van robbery. At the beginning of 2017, we only had 800 CCTV cameras in operation.”

Verdict: Contradictory

Explanation: According to the government of Ghana, the installation of CCTV cameras is aimed at ensuring border vigilance and boosting crime fighting by the security agencies. The initiative which is called the Alpha project has received US$ 3 million support from the United States government and is being implemented by the National Security.

Before the November 2, 2021, statement at Ashesi University, Dr Bawumia had said on May 2019 that 1000 cameras were being deployed in the first phase of this project. The entire project, according to the vice president, was to ensure the installation of almost 10,000 cameras across the country in 18 months.

“We’ve deployed about 1,000 cameras across the country with a central monitoring centre in Accra, Tamale and Kumasi. The three centres will monitor all the 16 regions. So, the 1000 cameras is [sic] just the first phase. The second phase will be a deployment of 8,000 additional cameras. We want to have a situation where the police are helped very much in their fight against crime with real-time data…,” Dr Bawumia said at a Business Roundtable forum.

National Security Minister says 6,500 CCTV cameras have currently been installed

On the same day Dr Bawumia said 10,000 cameras had been installed (November 2, 2021), when the Minister for National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah said in Parliament that 6,500 cameras have currently been installed. The Minister appeared before Parliament to respond to a question by Mr Peter Lanchene Toobu, Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa West, on the state of the CCTV installation project.

“To date, installation works of 6,500 cameras have been completed, with a little over 4,000 cameras powered and online, mainly in Accra, Kumasi and other regional capitals, and this has aided us to achieve many successes in detecting many infractions and criminal activities, including helping us solve recent violent crimes such as armed robbery and killings,” Mr Dapaah said.

A screenshot of a part of the statement delivered by the National Security Minister on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

The National Security Minister also said that the completion date for the project, which was meant to install a total of 10,000 cameras, had been extended to December 2021. This, according to Mr Kan Dapaah, was due to “logistical challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

If all the 10,000 cameras had been installed as Dr Bawumia claimed, there would not be the need for an extension of the completion date.

Akufo-Addo also envisages the installation of all 10,000 CCTV cameras by December

Exactly a month ago, on October 1, 2021, President Akuffo-Addo speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 50th Cadet Officers’ Course, at the Police Training Academy also commented on the installation of the 10,000 CCTV cameras.

“At the beginning of my mandate, in 2017, there were eight hundred (800) CCTV installations in the country for surveillance. At the end of my first term, the figure had gone up to six thousand, five hundred (6,500), and, by the end of the year, another three thousand, five hundred (3,500) would have been added, making a total of almost eleven thousand (11,000) in the country,” the president said.

The president’s addition was wrong. But what was clear in the statement is that he envisages the completion of the installation of the 10,000 cameras by end of the year, December. This contradicts Dr Bawumia’s claim that the 10,000 cameras have already been installed. The president’s claim is consistent with the Kan Dapaah, the National Security Minister’s claim.

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