The Guardian Fund under the Ministry of Justice has made a tremendous turnaround from being overshadowed by reports of fraudulent activities to currently being valued at N$1.4 billion.
The Fund has increased from a mere N$300 million in 1990 to a staggering N$1.4 billion today.
Speaking during the budget motivation in the National Assembly on Monday, Dr Albert Kawana, the minister of justice, said Section 5 of the Financial Intelligence Act of 2007 obliges the Trust to keep up-to-date information to ensure it is not used as conduits for money-laundering activities.
The Fund is administered by the Master of the High Court with the aim of managing the estates of children, who inherited money from their deceased parents, as well as absent heirs and untraceable persons.
“The guardians will soon be able to view the accounts of minors under their care and be able to apply for quarterly allowances via the internet,” said Kawana.
The Fund falls under the programme of the administration of justice, which is set to receive N$77 million in this year’s budget. Other programmes, such as legal aid services, were to be given N$48.6 million, as well as N$19.6 million for the promotion of good governance and N$277.7 million for supervision, coordination and support services,
“Of this total allocation of N$423.4 million, an amount of N$242.5 million is earmarked for the operational budget, while the remaining N$180.9 million is earmarked for the development budget,” Kawana noted.
The ministry still faces a severe challenge in terms of lack of experienced legal drafters, as it takes up to seven years to find a suitable candidate when an experienced drafter resigns.
“If something is not done to address the critical shortage of experienced legislative drafters, we will experience more challenges in the lawmaking process, which might affect the work of the legislative arm of the State,” Kawana cautioned.