The Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, has told Parliament that the country will have a National Security Policy in place before the end of this year.
He said the policy would contain a detailed strategic framework describing how the country would provide security for the state and the people.
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According to him, the draft of the policy had gone through the various validation and review processes with selected security and governance experts, as well as stakeholder consultations with various interest groups.
“It is our intention to submit the final draft to Parliament for its input,” he said when he appeared before the House yesterday to answer a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa North, Mr James Agalga.
The MP had asked the minister whether the National Security outfit had plans to introduce a National Security Policy in Parliament for consideration.
Draft security policy
Mr Kan-Dapaah said it had not been the practice in the country to have a National Security Policy as a strategic framework that described how the country provided security for the state and its citizens.
But, he said, the government considered that there was an urgent need for such a policy on national security to be documented.
In that regard, he said, in October 2017, his ministry set up a technical working group, comprising representatives from ministries, departments and agencies, academia and security experts to initiate processes to draft a National Security Policy.
He said the group had, since then, made progress and had a detailed National Security Policy drafted.
“The draft document has gone through the various validation and review processes with selected security and governance experts, while stakeholder consultations with the various interest groups and civil society organisations have also been conducted,” he said.
Mr Kan-Dapaah went to Parliament dressed in an African print shirt over a pair of black trousers, with dark spectacles to match, and sat on a chair to the left of the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
When he was called by the Speaker to answer the question on the floor, the former legislator for Afigya-Sekyere West in the Ashanti Region enjoyed maximum cooperation from the MPs as he delivered his response without interruptions.
Soon afterwards, some legislators took turns to question the minister on security-related matters, some of which the Speaker disallowed, on the grounds that they were not directly connected to the question on the floor of the House.
Mr Kan-Dapaah told the House that it was the intention of the government to submit the final draft to Parliament for its input.
He pointed out, however, that the policy document would not be submitted to the House as a bill to be passed into an Act of Parliament, saying that “such has not been the best international practice”.
“The consultation with Parliament will, therefore, be limited to discussions with the Select Committee responsible for National Security and the leadership of the House,” he explained.
The minister assured the House that the policy on national security was envisioned to set the stage for a progressive and secure governance system, and that the government had planned to have the document before the close of this year.
Answering a question on what had caused the delay in submitting the final draft document to Parliament since 2017, Mr Kan-Dapaah said the delay had come about because his ministry had to consult with other stakeholders for their inputs and suggestions.
To a question from the MP for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, regarding the lifespan of the policy document, given security threats on the country, Mr Kan-Dapaah said: “The intention is to have a policy that runs for four years.”
“But the policy document will require that security experts sit back at the beginning of every year to assess what they perceive to be significant threats to national security in the year ensuing,” he added.