Mr. Justice Yaw Apau Judgment Debt Commissioner hit the nail right in the head when he expressed his views over insurance cover for state properties. He? ?kicked against failure by the state to insure government properties. He is damn right; therefore I expect the government to act promptly on the concern expressed by the commissioner. ?The failure of government to insure state properties dates back many years. The state has properties all over the country and abroad in our embassies.? Vehicles and buildings owned by the state are procured through loans guaranteed by Ghana?s parliament and taxes and the commissioner said ??there are many government vehicles, buildings and other property that are not insured and so anytime something happened to them, they would be ?lost forever?.
His frustration is well founded. When the old parliament house got burnt late last year a lot of documents and some valuable items of organizations such as Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Judgment Debt Commission were destroyed. The nation was not told the financial value of the items and parts of the buildings that got damaged. But everyone knows that it would run into millions of cedis.? However because the building and the equipments were not insured government would not be in a position to secure compensation from any insurance firm. In the case of the debt commission government was compelled to secure another building at a huge cost to house the commission at cantonment in Accra. The only consolation the judgment commission had was that it managed to retrieve all evidence given by witnesses in a back up kept while the proceedings were on going. This is not good as such the government must take a firm decision to insure all government buildings and equipment
This is not the only period government has lost out for not insuring buildings, vehicles and other equipments.? When the Makola, Agbogbloshie, Kantamanto and other markets across Ghana got burnt these buildings did not benefit financially from any insurance firm. This is because they were not insured.? The government took it upon itself to galvanize financial support through the?? Ministry Of Gender Children and Social Protection and the Stanbic Bank for the affected persons. Since independence government has been acquiring vehicles to facilitate activities of government at different levels. However it has become clear that many of those vehicles are not insured. In event of those vehicles getting involved in accident the government is forced to cough money to pay judgment debts for injured or dead persons involved.? The vehicles themselves are often written off leading to the government organization to be handicapped till a replacement is sought
Let us pay heed to the concern expressed by the Judgment Commissioner over our failure to insure vehicles, buildings and other equipment owned by government. Insuring properties owned by government would provide protection for personnel and equipments involved, in event of accidents and other unforeseen happenings.
By ALHAI ALHASAN ABDULAI
eanfoworld for sustainable development