The coordinator of national security may soon have to account for budgetary estimates approved to the agency if parliament succeeds in its bid to get a minister of state to oversee activities of the national security agency.
Out of 312 million Ghana cedis approved for the running of government machinery in the 2013 budget, 134 million will go to national security.
MP for Sekondi Paapa Owusu Ankamah noted that Ghanaians must know how national security spends money allocated to it.
Though Majority Leader Dr. Benjamin Kunbour welcomed the suggestion, he believed a constitutional interpretation on the role and operations of the office of national security will be helpful.
“We should be able to have in this House the constitutional aspect of our national security, that for me it was as relevant as it was under previous government as it is relevant now. It is a statutory requirement and it is one that we cannot gloss over inasmuch as it touches on appropriation.”
Executive Director of the West African Network for Peace Building, Emmanuel Bombande told Joy News the call for an oversight sector is a welcomed idea, but remarked that with or without a ministry the national security could be made accountable.
He recalled that under the Kufuor administration, similar attempt was made but “we ended up in so many problems and it ended up being discontinued. In the same vein, if you were to bring that back we are going to continue with the same type of problem.”
Mr Bonbamde remarked that placing the agency under a ministry would generate inter ministerial competition about mandates, and would not give the national security the needed flexibility to operate.
“You don’t succeed in this kind of coordination and inter agency collaboration when you make national security a ministry, then you have to be battling with where does the different mandates begin and end? And the moment we begin struggling with mandates and defining how these mandates occur, then we limit our understanding of national security only to the protection of the state rather than national security in the protection of people in the advancement of human security.”