Opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa North, Hon James Agalga has expressed grief concern about the New Patriotic Party ( NPP) blatant violation of laws governing some statutory institution in the country.
He claimed that the public has no idea how National Security Ministry money is being spent, because the national security activities have been farcically excluded in the 2017 and the 2018 budgets.
Contributing to the 2018 budget debate on the floor of parliament on Wednesday November 29, 2017, the former Deputy Minister for the Interior and now Ranking member on the Defence and Interior committee of parliament, said section 17 of subsection (1) and (2) of the Security and Intelliegnce Act 526, have been grossly violated by the government.
He averred that, since 2017, the activities of the security has never been reported to parliament, the house that have the oversight responsibility to check the operational function of the intelligence Ministry.
Mr Agalg said, per Act 526 of 1993, Ghanaians ought to be in the known how their money is being used, especially how much is being spend on our national security in their activities and logistics after the security council has been elevated to a full ministry.
The former Deputy Minister pointed out that, the lack of details of the operational activities of the Intelligence Ministry was not helpful, arguing that the House must be in the known of those activities so it could asses and estimate its budget statement.
“Mr speaker, I wish to make reference to the Security and Intelligence Agency Act 1996 of Act 526, specifically section 17, subsection (1) and (2) which state that,’the President shall assign ministerial responsibility for the Intelligence Agencies to such Minister as the President shall consider appropriate.’
“Subsection (2) of Section 17, Mr Speaker also stated that, ‘the Minister assigned responsibility under subsection (1) of this section shall in respect of each year submit a report to Parliament on the Intelligence Agencies,” Mr Agalga argued.
He further contended that, he is sure, it was out of the good intension to make the security intelligence accountable to the state of their function that, the president, Nana Akufo Addo elevated the national security council to a full National Security Ministry.
For that, he said, it was instructive that upon elevating the security council to a full ministry, the government through the Minister responsible should appear before the august house and give report on the activities or expenditure to enable the house assess their performance but that has been omitted.
In his view, such statutory violation of Act 526 and the Public Finacial Managment Act 921, made it impossible to assess the estimate of 2018 budget statement for the Ministry of National Security, adding that similar violation occurred in the 2017 budget and for over 10 months no report on activities of the security has been presented to parliament.
The unpardonable mistake of violation of Act 921 and Act 526 section 17, omitted by the government, he argued, would makes it impossible for the august house to assess the activities of the security intelligence ministry and to estimate its 2018 budget allocation.
Mr Agalga also raised concerns about similar violation of omission by the government on the National Disaster Management Organisation, NADMO Act 927 Act 2016, section 37 to establish a national disaster management fund.
He said, the NADMO Act 927 enjoined the government to establish such fund, but upon resumption of office, the NPP government clothed itself with Zongo Development and others, with the NADMO Fund,capriciously omitted in both the 2017 and 2018 budgets.
Again, the Builsa North lawmaker said, beside the blatant statutory violation on the national Security and intelligence and the NADMO Act 927, the government has also arrogantly refused to enforce the Ghana Immigration Services(GIS) Act 908 (Act 2016), which enjoined the state to allow GIS to buy and posses fire arms as part of measures to fight terrorism.
He said GIS Act 908, provide the opportunity for the services to purchase fire arms and posse same at the various borders and as well assist other security services in the country, stating, “the emerging of terrorism and other extremists calls for resourcing of our security services and by omitting them in the budget is unpardonable.”
Also during the debate, Mr Agalga bemoaned the state of insecurity in the country under the Nana Akufo Addo led government,saying “the spate of lawlessness in the country does not auger well for the country’s development.”
Giving litany lawlessness perpetrated by vigilante groups associated with the governing party, NPP, the former Deputy Minister for the Interior said, those unfortunate developments must be appropriately dealt with to ensure that they do not leave dire consequences on the country’s social fabric.
He recounted the incident at the Flag Staff House where a senior police officer was violently attacked, the looting of Toll booths, attack on DCE nominees elections, state institution like National Health Insurance(NHIS) and other series of violent acts in some parts of the country and called on the government to take immediate steps to address them.
The Builsa North MP added that, other issues which also posed security threat to the nation peace under the current government is the acts of indiscipline and impunity, particularly reported acts of extrajudicial conduct in the form of mob justice.
These incidents of misconduct, he argued are creeping cankers that the government should have devoted the 2018 budget to enable it decisively dealt with to stem their malignant effect on the social fabric.
He said, it was also about time the president and his team seize the rhetoric on these lawlessness and act without mercy to save the nation vibrant democracy and the peace that Ghanaians enjoyed over the last two decades and as a beacon of political stability in the West Africa sub region.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba