The Board Chairman of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) Cletus Avoka has admonished personnel of the service to eschew corruption, nepotism and any behavior which is likely to bring the name of the Service into disrepute and also to work diligently to reduce cross-border crimes.
He said GIS personnel were the country’s ambassadors at the respective borders and were therefore expected to exhibit knowledge, integrity, vigilance and professionalism so as to attract more tourists and investors into the country.
Hon. Avoka made the remarks when members of the GIS Board embarked on a four-day tour of the borders in the Upper East Region to acquaint themselves with activities at the borders, as well as conditions under which personnel of the service work.
The tour, which is the second of its kind since the Board was appointed, took them to Paga, Namoo, Zebilla, Pulmakom and Pussiga border posts.
They were also at Kulungugu, Missaga, Bolgatanga and the Tamale Regional offices.
The board chair assured the officers that the Board would give the necessary support to the new director and expected same from the management of the Service, as well as the entire staff.
He said the days when personnel of other sister security services were posted to the GIS to head it were over and that the Service was in a position to churn out its own leaders.
He further indicated that hard work, humility, dedication, focus and discipline were the cardinal principles required in achieving anything and the appointment of the new director is testament to this fact.
On his part, the new acting Director of Immigration, Felix Yaw Sarpong, threw light on the GIS Bill 2015, which has been passed by Parliament and now awaiting Presidential assent.
He said an implementation committee had been set up to ensure that all provisions of the new law were fully implemented.
He made specific reference to the mandate of GIS for personnel to bear arms and emphasized the need for some officers to go for refresher programmes in weapon handling considering the fact that it has been about eight years now since the last batch of Border Patrol officers went for training at the Military Training School at Asutuare.
He also disclosed that the Service was making arrangements to procure about 3,000 pistols and 4,000 rifles.
He assured personnel in the region that their needs would be prioritized owing to the enormous challenges and the harsh weather conditions they have to endure in their quest to safeguard the country’s borders with Togo and Burkina Faso.
Regional and Sector Commanders also took turns to address the board, mentioning some of their achievements and highlighting challenges which mostly bothered on the lack of communication gadgets, inadequate residential accommodation for officers, insufficient allocation of service uniforms, as well as limited logistics such as motorbikes and vehicles for border patrol activities.