The Sixth Parliament is working around the clock to have The Narcotics Control Commission Bill 2015, passed into law, before the final curtain is drawn, to pave way for The Seventh Parliament to begin on 7th January, 2017.
The purpose of The Bill, is to provide an Act Of Parliament, to establish The Narcotics Control Commission, to deal with offences related to narcotic drugs, and for related matters.
The Bill when passed, will allow The Institution charged with the responsibility of detecting, controlling and preventing narcotic drugs from entering and leaving the shores of the Country, to be better positioned to perform its duties.
It will make drug abuse, drug-trafficking and drug-related money laundering activities in Ghana, criminal acts. For example, Section 21 of The Bill stipulates Custodial Sentence, of not less than ten years, and not more than twenty-five years imprisonment, for the importation or exportation of narcotic drugs.
The Bill, currently under consideration before The House stated that, drug-abuse, drug-trafficking and drug-related money laundering, pose a serious threat to the national security of this Country, thereby calling for concerted Institutional approach, and a strong legal regime to deal with the scourge.
The Chairman of The Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence And Interior, and the out-going Member Of Parliament for The Ablekuma South, in The Greater Accra Region, Fritz Baffour, said, there is the need to control the trafficking of prohibited narcotic drugs, by specifically taking measures to prevent the illicit use of precursors used in The Pharmaceutical Industry, for the preparation of orthodox medicines, to ensure public safety.
He mentioned that, “It is in consonance with this that The Republic Of Ghana is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic In Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances 1988”. According to The Committee’s Report, Ghana has gone further with this effort by putting in place PNDCL 236, the Narcotic Drugs Control, Enforcement And Sanction Act 1990, so as to bring under one enactment, offences related to the illicit dealing in narcotic drugs.
The Narcotic Control Board was established to co-ordinate activities related to Illicit Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances.
The Bill is to establish a Corporate Institution with perpetual succession, to be known as The Narcotics Control Commission, which would be responsible for ensuring public safety, by controlling and gradually eliminating the trafficking of in prohibited narcotic precursors, co-ordinating the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, and developing in consultation with other Public Agencies, alternative means of livelihood, for farmers who cultivate illicit narcotic plants.
The Bill makes provision for an Administrative Head and A Board Of The Commission, to regulate its activities and functions. Indeed, “the rapid rise in illicit drug- trafficking, which is closely related to money-laundering and financing of high level crime and terrorism, has convinced the Ghana Government of the importance and urgency of re-equipping The Narcotics Control Board, as an additional tool in enhancing The National Security System”.
Source: radioxyzonline.com/Francis Edzorna Mensah