Accra, Dec. 8, GNA - Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, NDC-Lawra/Nandom, on Thursday said the Committee on Defence and Interior was going to be tough and diligent in its oversight functions over the Ministry of The Interior and agencies under the Ministry.
"We serve notice to the Ministry of The Interior and agencies under the Ministry that we are going to be very robust in our oversight functions over the Ministry."
The Member was contributing to the debate to approve the 2006 Budget estimates of the Ministry of The Interior.
Dr Kunbuor said the yearly ritual where budgets of Ministries were approved without proper monitoring of how these Ministries used their budgetary allocations should be a thing of the past. Mr Joe Kinsley Hackman, Vice Chairman of the Committee, who presented the Committee's report, said the Interior Ministry would facilitate the passage of a legislation to give legal backing to the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms.
"The Arms and Ammunition Act would also be reviewed," he said. He said the Ghana Police Service would also recruit and train 2,000 officers to reduce the "Police-population ratio of 1: 1,131 as against the United Nation's standard of 1: 500." On the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Hackman said as a way of easing the congestion at the prisons, construction works on the Ankaful Maximum Security Prison would continue and 400 officers would be recruited into the Service.
On some observations made by the Committee, he said the Committee was informed that the "Wahala" demonstrations in the Accra, Kumasi and Techiman cost the Police Service 400 million cedis, adding that this caused a severe drain on the meagre resources of the Service. Mr Alban Bagbin, The Minority Leader, said it was wrong for the Committee's report to capture reports that the "Wahala" demonstrations were a drain on the meagre resources of the Police Service. He said this smacked of partisanship, adding that the Police was only doing their duty in keeping the peace and security of the country during such demonstrations.
The House later approved a sum of 906.885 billion cedis for the Interior Ministry. BDB