The government has directed the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to review and streamline its border control mechanisms to ensure that legal migrants enter the country.
The service was asked to collaborate with institutions and agencies, whose regulations impact on the activities of foreigners.
The Minister for Interior, Kwesi Ahwoi, who made this known at the passing out ceremony of recruit intake 21 at the immigration service training school, Assin Fosu, said the service must intensify its post entry enforcement checks to ensure compliance with the country’s immigration laws.
He said the Service must improve its border patrol and control mechanisms by intensifying screening and profiling of travelers, enhancing its intelligence-gathering measures and cooperating with other agencies to effectively combat the threats.
Mr Ahwoi said government would give all the needed support to the GIS to enable it deliver on its mandate in an effective and efficient manner.
He said, ‘We expect all foreign nationals to comply with the country’s immigration laws and other relevant laws.’
Mr. Ahwoi said genuine investors would be given relevant immigration permits, adding, ‘We will not tolerate persons who will exploit and abuse our hospitality.’
The effectiveness and efficiency of any organization is determined by the quality and caliber of its human resource base, he said.
‘In this regard the training designed and delivered by the GIS to its recruits is crucial,’ he said.
Mr. Ahwoi said the Immigration Academy and training school is undergoing infrastructural development to expand and upgrade the facilities to train cadets and recruits.
He said, ‘Key in this development is the establishment of a computer laboratory, a library, additional dormitories and housing for training school staff.’
While the development would improve the training of the immigration officers, it would also improve international cooperation within the sub-region, as the nation is confronted with transitional crime and other migration-related issues which adversely affect frontier controls and socio-economic activities, Mr. Ahwoi said.
Mr. Ahwoi cautioned the new personnel against activities that have the tendency to undermine the corporate image of the Service.
‘Should you heed this, you are assured of a happy and fruitful career. It goes without saying that those of you who decide to break the rules of the Service will face dire disciplinary consequences,’ he said.
Mr. Ahwoi said, ‘The GIS is a very sensitive establishment, and you can easily be corrupted if you make money the focus of your joining the service. You career, I dare state, should mean much more to you than any short term corrupt again.’
Three hundred and twenty four immigration recruits, who passed out at the function, were made up of sportsmen and women, bandsmen and women, drivers and a few general duty personnel.
They underwent a four-month intensive basic recruit training programme.
The recruits were taken through topics such as border control and patrol, enforcement of immigration laws, human trafficking and smuggling, drug trafficking and anti-terrorism, among others.
They would undergo an eight-week specialized training in border patrol.
By Cephas Larbi
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