The Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has inaugurated a new governing council for the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) with Dr. Edward Prempeh, a President’s nominee retaining the Chairmanship position.
The 13-member council has four others from the previous council which includeKwame AsuahTakyi, Comptroller-General of GIS; Adelaide Anno-Kumi, Chief Director at the Ministry of the Interior;Peter R. Zwennes representing the Ghana Bar Association and Hager Dery, a representative of the President.
New members of the Council included Aziz Futa, a President’s representative; Michael Odame, representing Junior Officers of GIS; Samuel Ayer, GIS representative; Dr.Degraft-Johnson representing the Ministry of Finance and Moses Gyamfi, representing the Retired Senior Immigration Officers Association.
The rest are Louis Obeng, Director of Passport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Alfred Tuah Yeboah from the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice;and Jabaah John Bennam, a representative of the President.
At an inauguration ceremony in Accra on Thursday, Mr.Dery commended the previous council for doing a good job in overseeing the Service undergo tremendous change that saw the promotion of 3,000 qualified personnel to various ranks, expansion of training facilities and the recruitment of competent personnel to beef up operations of the Service.
He noted that there has also been some infrastructure project which included reconfiguration of office properties, renovation of residential facilities to provide better accommodation and some border patrol works at major entry points in the country.
“The Immigration Service has been very progressive in the past years and recently I was privileged to commission a COVID-19 Testing Centre at the Headquarters of the GIS,” he said.
Improved performance of the Service, he said, has afforded the country the opportunity to collaborate with other international agencies on various projects to improve border security and check illegal migration.
Speaking about the closure of the country’s borders, he said this is informed by health concerns, adding that, “Borders of neighbouring countries of Ghana have also remained closed.”
“Togo has also returned about 40 Ghanaians who have entered their country through unapproved routes,” he said.
The opening of borders, he said, would be more feasible when the country inches closer to achieving its 20 million vaccination target set by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
He urged the members to bring their individual competencies to bear upon the performance of the Service so that it can carry out its mandate and advise the minister on appropriate policy formulation.
The Chairman of the Council, who is a medical practitioner,expressed gratitude to the President for their appointment.
He, however, called for an increase of the 15 per cent retention rate of Internally Generated Fund (IGF) to 30 per cent to allow the Service to carry out its mandate effectively.
By Issah Mohammed