PThe Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has announced that government has commenced the preparatory works ahead of the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill which is scheduled to be passed into law this week.
According to the Information Minister, it was necessary to ensure that the needed infrastructure that could deliver on the RTI requests, that would be filed under the new law, were put in place.
“The bill in its current form requires the establishment of information units in all public offices, recruitment and training of information officers to man these units, establishments of the RTI Commission and the completion of various administrative protocols before the commencement of the next fiscal year. These are necessary to ensure that there will, indeed, be the infrastructure that can deliver on the RTI requests filed under this new law,” he explained.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah disclosed this at the Sunday edition of the bi-weekly media briefings by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday.
He said Parliament had in good time completed the consideration stage of the RTI Bill after several policy changes and amendments and months of rigorous debates on the floor of the house, stressing that, “even, currently, there are further new petitions asking for further amendments to provisions of the bill.”
In spite of this, he said Parliament was minded to pass the bill into law this week and send it for Presidential assent soon thereafter.
The Minister said the new law would be a major addition to the credential of Ghana as a strong democracy and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who for many years had championed the cause of enhancing the frontiers of human rights.
“Government through the Ministry of Information, which will be the implementing ministry, has already commenced engagements in preparation of a roadmap for implementation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government had reiterated its commiseration to the victims and families affected by the recent incidents of road carnage that had claimed over 60 lives since Friday.
According to Mr Oppong Nkrumah, reducing road accidents in the country was a major priority for the government, adding that, “it is the reason why agencies like the National Road Safety Commission and the Police Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) continue to receive support from central government to address road safety issues and also to tackle the major factors that contribute to road accidents in the country.”
He said the government was also reviewing the road traffic regulations to address some implementation challenges and incorporate innovations in the management of road transport services.
“We must also scale up road safety education and sensitisation to ensure compliance to road safety measures, procedures and policies,” he stated.
By Cliff Ekuful