The decision by the Akufo-Addo administration to change the former Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) appears to be causing more harm than good.
The change of name at the time was spearheaded by the National Security Minister in line with Section 12 of the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 2020 (ACT 1030).
Aside from Mr Albert Kan Dapaah at the time having issues with the late National Security Coordinator Joshua Kyeremeh who reportedly died of COVID-19 in January 2021, the change of name DAYBREAK has gathered was as a result of the intention to change the scope of that security outfit.
The call to have the name change in 2020 according to sources was rejected by many security officers but their concerns were brushed aside but now it appears the chickens have come home to roost.
Their position was that the NIB which in this case is National Investment Bank was something Ghanaians were familiar with and so changing BNI to bear the same initials was going to bring confusion.
As criticized, information coming in indicates that the change of name is causing massive confusion with the state own financial institution, National Investment Bank (NIB).
The confusion stems from the fact that the two important institutions have the same acronyms-NIB.
According to sources, the challenge has been that very important information and a letter that on a normal day be delivered to either the old the Bureau of National Investigations or the National Investment Bank (NIB), is sent to the wrong organization.
This, many say, is very dangerous because, for instance, a document that is meant for the National Investment Bank is sometimes rather delivered to National Intelligence Bureau and vice versa.
This is raising grave concerns because, in situations where sensitive documents or information meant for the investigative body, are mistakenly delivered or addressed to the National Investment Bank, a lot may go amiss same with the bank too.
Concerned security capos say in such a confusion, very sensitive information may inadvertently go into, for instance, the hands of National Investment Bank when in fact, it is meant for the National Intelligence Bureau.
Recall that last year, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Bureau in a publication in the Daily Graphic newspaper on Monday, November 23, 2020, asked the public to take note of the change in name which is with “immediate effect.”
“The Bureau of National Investigation wishes to inform the general public that, per Section 12 of the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 2020, (ACT 1030), the Bureau is now named the NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE BUREAU with immediate effect.”
“All are to take note accordingly,” the public notice said.
The now NIB is an integral intelligence agency in Ghana. It is an integral part of the National Security Council which oversees matters of counterintelligence and internal security in Ghana.
It deals with organized crimes and financial crimes, sabotage, terrorism, hijacking, piracy, drug, trafficking and providing intelligence to counter threats to Ghana’s national security.
The NIB has the investigative jurisdiction to arrest, detain and interrogate people associated with criminal offences.
Section 12 of the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 2020 (Act 1030), was passed to repeal the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 (Act 526) which could not adequately address the emerging national security challenges, and other significant matters.
Section 12 Act (1030) seeks to restructure the national security architecture to adequately respond to emerging national security challenges and to adequately cater for national security policy direction.
It also seeks to expand the functions of the intelligence agencies to include combating global security challenges such as cybercrime and terrorism.
Additionally, Act (1030) will create additional committees of the National Security Council and clarify the roles of the key actors in the national security architecture.