Executive, Parliament give assurances on RTI law

Accra Representatives of the Executive and Legislative arms of government have given strong declarations that Ghana’s decade’s old right to information (RTI) bill would be passed into law this year.

While government representatives say passage of the bill is ‘non-negotiable’, leadership of Parliament maintains that lawmakers are not in ‘dilemma’ in enacting the bill into law.

Speaking at the Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, Minister of Information Mr Mustapha Abudul-Hamid said passing the bill is non-negotiable and would happen in this May to July session of Parliament.

The theme was Ghana still in search of Right to information and broadcasting law: is Parliament in a dilemma?

The Minister said government was committed and would restart the process of submitting the bill to Parliament in their next sitting for debate and passage.

Minority Leader Mr Haruna Iddrisu who also spoke on the same platform stated that Parliament is not in dilemma in passing the information bill as was the broadcasting bill. The country, he said, was in search for right to information and broadcasting laws and Parliament was never in dilemma in their passage.

He noted that it was permissive to understand the ambivalence and the disappointment of the media in both the Executive and in Parliament but be assured of our commitment to pass into law these two important legislations.

He added that Parliament would not transgress or strangulate the media but would continue to support policies that aim to fight graft in the society.

Deputy Majority Leader Ms Sarah Adwoa Sarfo also said both the Executive and the Legislature had committed themselves to passing the information and the broadcasting bills.

She said passage of the two bills remained top priority of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s administration, which would see that the laws came into force.

But Head of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Ms Mina Mensah told the Ghana News Agency that the assurances are very good, it shows that they are still thinking about it but until May-June when the law is passed, we will still hold on.

We have heard such assurances for the past eight years, it looks like everybody has come together to make a commitment.

She charged the media to keep the government accountable at the end of the year if it failed to pass the law.

Source: Ghana News Agency