Miss Gloria Afua Akuffo, Ghana’s appointed Attorney General and Minister of Justice says thought the ministry needed around 600 state attorneys for effective justice delivery, only a quarter of that figure were available to carry out legal business across the country.
“I used to say to the press that I had about half of the workers to work with until I realised that indeed only a quarter of the number I really need…but in the court we are branded us inefficient and not responding or even coming to court to testify, a very worrying situation at Hand”, she added.
Ms Akuffo said this during a meeting with staff of Economic and Organised Crime Office, staff of legal Aid and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Registrar Generals’ Department of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney to have a first-hand information about their work schedules and difficulties associated with the performance of their duties.
The Minister mentioned that despite her engagement with the Solicitor-General, Chief Director and other committees, there was the need for direct contact with the people that represented the Ministry outside the Greater Accra Region.
She said the Ministry had taken steps to rectify the current short fall with the recruitment of 50 new staff and absorption of national service personnel to help in research works.
“We all know that efficiency comes through planning, monitoring and evaluation from time to time to get best results”, Ms Akufo added.
The Minister admitted that she was not oblivious to the current challenges facing the offices and agencies under the Ministry including, vehicles, fuel, computers, papers, communication and internet connectivity adding, “Our budgetary allocation is woefully inadequate, we certainly need something outside the budget to work with”.
Ms Akuffo called on the various agencies and department to prioritise their need for strategic response.
Ms. Patience Klinogo, Western Regional Chief State Attorney who lamented about the lack of funds to run the offices narrated how creditors embarrassed her whenever they met her in public places, “Over the years, I have to spend my salary on paying light bills, repairing vehicles, postings among other office responsibility, luckily my other colleagues come in handy”.
Meanwhile, one common challenge that run through all the departments and agencies was the lack of funds and other logistics to effectively carry out their mandate.
A peculiar issue that arose at the engagement was the salary discrepancies and failure of former management of the legal Aid and Alternative Dispute Resolution to migrate them unto the single spine.
The Minister encouraged them to put it into writing and copy her office for prompt action.