General News of Monday, 23 January 2017
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botcway, the Ministerial nominee for Foreign Affairs, said Monday there is the need to educate stranded Ghanaians abroad, who had no documentation, to return home rather than being maltreated in those countries.
The Communications Consultant, who is the Member of Parliament for Anyaa Sowutuom in the Greater Accra Region, said the nation was ready to assist those who wished to return home to do so, so that they could reintegrate and make a living.
“You will find that our compatriots leave the shores of this country to go outside in search of greener pastures,” she said.
“They are lured by all kinds of agencies and then they take them to countries where they are maltreated and where whatever agreement that they may have signed with the so-called agents are not adhered to and as a result they are abused and in most cases, these are women.
Madam Botcway, who was answering a question on the issue when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, said it was a worrying phenomenon and so people must be sensitised to be careful not to fall into the trap of unscrupulous agents who lure them to seek greener pastures.
She said the Ministry would, therefore, work with the Ministry of the Interior to tighten immigration laws and also check on people who travelled in groups at the airports to avert such incidents.
She said the Ministry of Employment would be consulted to crack down on unscrupulous agents.
On what she would do to attract investment to the country when approved as a Sector Minister, Madam Botchway said she intended to focus on trade and, attracting foreign direct investment using economic diplomacy a lot.
She emphasised that she would also focus on promoting trade within the ECOWAS region, which had a lot of potential.
She said Ghanaian businessmen and women living in the diaspora would be encouraged to trade with their local counterparts.
On what Ghana’s Foreign policy was, Madam Botcway said it continued to be maintaining of good neighbourliness, promoting and protecting the interest of Ghana and looking for positive dividends for the country.
The nominee for Foreign Minister said she would work for more than 50 per cent of the Ministry’s Internally Generated Funds to be maintained to run the activities of the sector.
She said at present most of its foreign mission buildings were in deplorable shape and the Ministry would support all the means for rehabilitating those buildings.
On the acquisition of passport, Madam Botcway said the introduction of online application would really expedite the processes and reduce the delays, adding that, it was complementing the six more passport acquisition centres that were scattered in six regions.
Four more offices were to be established in Upper East, Upper West, Eastern and Central Regions to make the services more accessible, she said.
On appointing ambassadors to represent Ghana, there should be consideration of selecting more of the career diplomats on the ration of 60:40 basis, she opined, when asked her preference for the two.