The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has justified the procurement of the services of private security companies for the management of the internal security at the Ministry even though it has a barrage of national security personnel at its disposal.
According to the Minister, the opportunity cost for the deployment of armed police persons for the same services is more costly to the nation than the use of the private security services considering the inadequate police to population ratio of 1 police to 848 persons, which falls below the United Nation’s accepted standards of one police to 500 persons.
The Minister made the comment during the Public Accounts Committee sittings in Parliament where he led the various Departments and Agencies under the Interior Ministry to answer queries contained in the Auditor General’s Report for the expense of Public funds for the year ending December 31, 2016.
The Public Accounts Committee has been sitting in public since Monday, August 13, in an exercise which is expected to last till Friday, August 17, 2018. They are considering the Auditor-General’s Report on the public accounts of Ghana’s Ministries, Departments and other Agencies (MDAs).
Ambrose Dery’s response was specific to a query by the Auditor General which indicated that his outfit had spent an amount of GHC 28,000 to procure the services of a private security company to provide internal security services at the ministry which could have been provided by the Ghana Police Service which was under the supervisory role of the Ministry to save some money.
The Minister in his defense, indicated that he would be more than willing to terminate the services of Magnum Force Security, the private security company involved, if the Committee signals him to do so. He however expressed the opinion that the deployment of just two armed police personnel to perform the duties being undertaken by the private company would be an under-utilization of the capabilities of the police.
In that, the opportunity cost of posting trained police personnel to undertake simple internal security duties such as making sure that all doors are closed properly after work hours, putting out lights and other electronic gadgets, ensuring there are no fire outbreaks as well as providing overnight security duties for the office, would be more costly to the nation than the cost of the money involved.
According to the Minister who has oversight jurisdictions over the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service, and the Ghana Prisons Service among others, the already precarious police to population ratio would not support such an under-utilization of the nation’s scarce security personnel when they may be needed for more important assignments in the interest of the public peace.
“the issue of civilian to police is 1:848 and therefore if you take two members of the Ghana Police Service to be within the ministry to perform these petty roles, I daresay it will be an under-utilization of an essential resource.” He observed.
In a separate query of an unaccounted for cash exhibit of GHC 15,000, the Ghana Police Service explained that GHC 11,000 of the amount has been accounted for and it is in the custody of the police, however, there is an outstanding GHC 4,000 yet to be refunded by one Francis Yefura who had defrauded a complainant of such an amount. According to the police, all efforts to locate the alleged fraudster to come and settle the rest of the money has so far proven futile.
Source: Clement Akoloh || afriwakeradio.com