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2024 budget will equip security services to ensure peace – Defence Minister

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The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul said the 2024 Budget has made an adequate commitment to safeguarding the country’s peace and security.

Mr Nitiwul argued that had it not been for President Akufo-Addo’s government’s extraordinary funding of the security services, terrorists would have taken over the country as they have done in other countries in West Africa and the Sahel.

The Minister also revealed that military lands sold under the NDC have been retrieved under his watch as Minister for Defense.

“Mr. Speaker this government has taken the largest infrastructure development since 1992 within the Ghana armed forces. How many multiple rocket launchers did we get as compared to any other government? Any other equipment for the army we have provided more than anybody. Mr. Speaker when it comes to training and manpower we have added to the stock of the armed force more than any other government”.

The Former Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the claims by the defense minister were unfounded. He described the allocation to all the Security Ministries as wholly inadequate.

Mr. Iddrisu has criticized the government and the Finance Ministry for the low funds allocated to anti-corruption institutions.

The Former Minority Leader said he expected the defense Minister and the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery to express disappointment in the inter-ministerial committee of the security minister.

“Even as we consult quietly was for the government to make available to you at least 2.5 billion US dollars in order for you to be able to contain terrorism, the threat of it in our country equip both the military and the Ghana Police to adequately prepare and to get you ready to keep our country safe, secured and peaceful.”

Mr. Iddrisu argued that both the previous and current special prosecutors have claimed that there are not enough resources to combat corruption.

Meanwhile, Minister for the Interior Ambrose Dery has assured that the 2024 election would be the safest in the country’s recent history. He explained enough body cams and other logistics have been made available to the police and allied institutions ahead of the crucial 2024 election.

A ranking member of the Defense and Interior Committee James Agalga has criticized the allocation made to the security agencies.

According to him, the National Peace Council is to educate citizens to ensure there is no terrorism in the country.

He said the council seeks to ensure there is no violent extremism. According to him, the council would also ensure that political actors make statements with care to make sure there is no tension in the country. “And I can assure you as has been requested by the honorable Haruna Iddrisu of the safety in next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections. You can take it from me that the police service and other agencies are going to work hard to achieve that”

“He said the council is seeking to get body cams to enhance the accountability of their operatives to ensure that when there is a need to find out what happened, there will be an authentic source of information as to their behavior. So rest assured that the election will be a free and fair election and we’d break the eight”.

The minority spokesperson on the Defense and Interior Committee, James Agalga said the allocations to the ministries of interior, national security, and defense are below 1% of GDP.

Mr. Agalga said the country is facing security challenges such as the detection of terrorism from the northern frontier, and detection emerging from the Gulf of Guinea which has made it necessary for the Ministry of Defense to start the construction of the FOB at Ezolibu.

“You will understand that this government is not competent to ensuring that the citizens of this country live in an atmosphere of peace and security. Per the country’s constitution, the president is the commander in chief of our armed forces. He is also the chairman of the National Security Council while the vice president, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia is a chairman of the police council and the chairman of the armed forces council”.

According to Mr. Agalga the president and vice is to blame for challenges with the police and armed force.