Interior Minister urges security agencies to utilise GH¢800m special fund
Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of Interior, has urged the security agencies to submit procurement proposals for the purchasing of equipment for their re-tooling.
He said the Government had made available this year GH¢800 million for the re-tooling of the security sector agencies under his ministry to enable them deliver on their mandate.
He said the Government would continue to re-tool the security services with a view to improving on service delivery; adding that the Government had also given financial clearance to the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Prisons Service and Ghana Immigration Service to engage more personnel.
Mr Dery made the appeal over the weekend at the 2017 Annual Review Meeting of the Ministry of Interior at Ada in the Greater Accra Region.
The purpose of the meeting was to review the activities undertaken by the sector, its achievements and challenges and to also take stock of activities that could not be undertaken and to roll over outstanding activities to this year’s action plan.
Mr Dery said in consonance with its mandate, the Interior Ministry was committed to ensuring internal security, a stable and peaceful environment for sustainable national development through monitoring and evaluation of policies, regulation and programmes relating to the protection of life and property, disaster prevention and mitigation, immigration, crime control, prevention and detection, reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners.
On the year under review, 2017, the Minister said 5,928 undesired fires as against 6,344 fires were recorded in 2016.
He said this was a reduction of 416 representing 6.55 per cent reduction in recorded fire outbreaks nationwide and noted that the incidence of crime was controlled, particularly violent crimes, through increased frontline police and intelligence gathering.
He said the Ghana Police Service had established a Cybercrime unit and Financial Forensic Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters to deal with emerging cybercrimes, financial and procurement frauds and other economic related crimes.
Mr Dery said the Ghana Police Service took delivery of four drones in 2017 to improve operational efficiency and the service also expanded the patrols, accessibility and visibility, set up drones unit in all the regions and intensified marine patrols on our waters and sea to protect our oil and gas industry.
On crime rate the Minister said the recorded cases of crime decreased from 177,241 in 2016 to 173,971 in 2017.
“It is my hope that with the recruitment 4,000 personnel and the implementation of the Transformation Agenda by Ghana Police Service, the sector would be able to further reduce the crime rate drastically this year,” Mr Dery said.
He said the Police Service received 118 pick-up vehicles and 40 motor cycles in December, 2017 to support their operation and to facilitate passenger processing and information security and installed Border Management System [SBMS] at Kotoka International Airport and Ghana’s major entry points at Aflao, Akanu-Nuepe, Paga and Elubo were opened for 24 hours surveillance.
He said the Government had initiated the revision of the small arms legislation to conform with adopted treaties/international instruments, standard and best practices in small arms control and management.
Mr Dery said the Government had initiated the process to build the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) Fund to improve its logistical base.
He said despite the achievements outlined, the sector was faced with a number of challenges; citing illegal mining (galamsey) and inadequate logistics, while some foreigners were involved in illegal mining, which had degraded the environment and affected rivers and streams.
Mr Dery said the Ghana Immigration Service was therefore, challenged as it had to step up its game especially with the 24-hour opening of borders and the security service under the ministry were under the Operation Calm Life to collaborate with other security agencies to address the issue.
He said inadequate logistics such as office and residential accommodation was one of the major challenges, but Government was committed to ensuring that the agencies were better equipped to perform their respective assignments.
“The office of the National Peace Council for instance which is currently housed by squatters would see a boost this year,” he said.
Mrs Adelaide Anno-Kum, Chief Director of the Ministry of the Interior, said the meeting would afford them the opportunity to identify the anticipated challenges and find better ways of addressing them.
Mr Seth Kwame Acheampong, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior, highlighted the need for them to progress and succeed as a country.