General News of Saturday, 29 July 2017
The Central Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service has announced that it is rolling out a two-year strategic plan to entrench its mandate in the Region.
This was revealed at a press conference by the Central Regional Commander of the Service, Chief Superintendent Palmdetti, on Wednesday in Cape Coast.
According to him, the strategy includes a comprehensive coastline border patrol security plan.
He noted it is vital to patrol the coastline of the Region because “the Region is strategic in the country for being the tourist destination in Ghana, having two of the world’s heritage castles in Elmina and Cape Coast, making a lot of foreigners trooping into the Region”.
He further explained, “We have identified that we cannot leave the coastline of the Central Region as it is now; we need to have some form of security at the coastline”.
The Service is also expected to construct observation posts in the area to enable immigration officers monitor the coastline.
The Service is currently using the peaks of the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles as observation posts, but the Regional Commander has revealed two posts will be constructed on the coast of Elmina and Cape Coast in the interim to serve the purpose.
SP Palmdetti said fishermen will be made key stakeholders in the plan.
“We intend to sensitise the coastal communities, to give them some security guidelines on what to look out for in case they see something unusual when they go fishing,” he said.
Strict Application and Enforcement of Immigration Laws
Chief Superintendent Palmdetti warned that the days of trampling on immigration laws are over, saying, “It will not be business as usual; we owe it to the people of this country who pay our salaries to ensure that people comply with the laws”.
He indicated that interactions between the Region’s Immigration Command and the Attorney General’s office in the Region are far advanced to establish a very strong working collaboration to prosecute both foreigners and locals, who flout the country’s immigration laws.
Another area to be keenly monitored in the Region by the Service is how hotel operators in the Region comply with the laws that mandates hotels to submit their returns on foreigners that use their facility, noting hotel operators are supposed to submit such returns on every Friday, by law.
The Service will soon enforce laws regarding harbouring, an offence that involves keeping a foreigner who is not supposed to be accommodated in homes, hotels and hostels.
“Landlords and facility owners should know that what we are asking them to do is to help us protect this country. When foreigners come to your country and they do not conform to your laws, they are a threat to you and the country because you have no information about them. We are not saying foreigners are bad, but they should obey the laws of the country”, he added.
The Central Regional Commander, however, lamented the lack of office spaces for his officers in the seven districts the Service currently has, revealing that most of the district officers either operate in single rooms or share common rooms with other departments in the districts.
He has, therefore, appealed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies as well as cooperate bodies in the Region to help provide office accommodation for the officers.