Parliament advocates Justice Ministry’s budget increased

Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu,Majority Leader

Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu,Majority Leader

MEMBERS of Parliament (MPs) yesterday unanimous advocated increment in budget allocation of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s (A-G) Department.

 

In the view of the lawmakers, the GH¢135,983,714 allocated to the ministry for its activities for the 2019 fiscal year, was inadequate considering its role in good governance and the rule of law.

 

Presenting the report of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary on the budget estimate for the ministry ahead of its approval, chairman of the committee, Ben Abdallah Banda, NPP MP, Offinso South, said the perennial low budgetary allocation to the ministry and its agencies had “serious effect on their capacity to deliver on their mandate.”

 

Citing the Legal Aid Scheme, Mr Banda said “the commission currently has no official accommodation and continues to lodge in premises of other state institutions and in rented premises,” a situation, he said was unacceptable.

 

The Ranking Member on the Committee and NDC MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, said the wheel of justice would be slowed if the Legal Aid Scheme was not resourced to function effectively.

 

He indicated that as an agency with the task to offer legal services to persons who may not have the financial or human resource, it was critical the scheme was resourced to address the imbalances in legal representation for the vulnerable.

 

Alhaji Fuseini lauded the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for retrieving about GH¢7.8 for the state, but was denied their 30 per cent share as stipulated by the EOCO Act.

 

Adansi Asokwa NPP member, K.T. Hammond, describing the ministry as the heartbeat of government, said it was in a “miserable” state.

 

He said if it meant “blackmailing” the Ministry of Finance to ensure that it allocated enough funds to the Attorney-General’s Department before its own (Ministry of Finance) allocation is approved, the House must do so.

 

He was unhappy that “even the small amount” of GH¢110,357,165 allocated to the Ministry of Justice for 2018, only GH¢70,954,308 was released as at October this year.

 

Gomoa West NPP MP, Alex Abban, said only one lawyer from the A-G’s Department in Central Region shuffles between four High Courts in the region without official car, making it difficult for effective representation of the state.

 

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu called for increase in the budget for the Ministry of Justice.

 

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu also asked for allocation for the ministry in the supplementary budget for next year to be increased.

 

The House, meanwhile, approved a GH¢417,954,342 allocation for the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, GH¢318,144,300 for the Aviation Ministry, GH¢117,914,330 for Ministry of Information, and GH¢1,201,174,507 for Ministry of Local Government Ministry and Rural Development.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

email
Print Friendly

Leave a Comment