THE COUNCIL Chairman of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Dr Edward Prempeh, has challenged officers and men at the borders to emphasize their responsibility and mandate of ensuring peace and security at the land borders.
He said it was their job to ensure that travellers were processed as expeditiously as possible, adding that it was their duty to ensure the security of the border and the country.
The Council Chairman made the remarks at a durbar during a working visit to the Aflao Sector Command.
The visit was largely to have indepth knowledge of the Border Patrol Unit’s operational activities and the difficulties associated with major mandates of the Service in the performance of its tasks.
According to Dr Prempeh, the role of the Ghana Immigration Service in keeping security at the borders is very crucial in the face of looming terrorist activities in neighboring countries. He tasked officers to be vigilant of all cross-border activities.
“You are therefore expected to be vigilant at all times, be on the lookout for suspicious characters who may want to enter the country to perpetrate acts that would undermine the security of the land,” he affirmed.
He also advised officers to ensure that the tenets of professionalism were respected and also to check the perception of extortion. This, he said, would uphold the integrity and image of the Service.
The Council Chairman used the occasion to assure the Service of the Council’s commitment to pursuing its objectives to the letter. He revealed that a recent meeting with the Minister of Interior underscored the need to deploy officers at Ghana Missions abroad.
“The Sector Minister underlined the need for the deployment of officers to Ghana Missions abroad for the issuance of visas, equipment and accommodation issues,” he said.
Dr Prempeh entreated all to emulate the great exemplary deeds of colleague officers who have helped raise high the image of the Ghana Immigration Service and were accordingly rewarded.
In a related development, the Volta Regional Commander, Deputy Commissioner Peter Claver Nantuo (Esq), in a keynote address, thanked the Council Chairman for his timely visit to the region and expressed his profound gratitude for the Council’s effort in addressing some of the major challenges hampering the activities of the Service.
According to him, though the Command is bedeviled with some logistic setbacks at the borders, officers were able to defy their limitations to achieve great feats.
He recalled that officers and men in the past months intercepted a smuggled vehicle loaded with petrol and the arrest of 127 parcels of cannabis en route to Togo at Akanu. He also mentioned the arrest of a smuggled Nissan Navara pick-up at Menuso, near Butabel border.
Briefing the media, he stated that all intercepted consignments were handed over to the appropriate State security agencies and that investigations were going on for possible prosecution.
The Regional Commander assured Dr Prempeh of the Command’s commitment to unraveling the secret operations of those believed to be involved in cross-border crimes to facilitate peace and security of the country.
The Sector Commander of the Aflao Border, C/Supt. Fredrick Baah Duodu, highlighted some key achievements under the Command from January to July 2019.
He disclosed that the Anti Human Smuggling and Trafficking In Persons (AHSTIP) unit of the Ghana Immigration Service at the Aflao Border was able to intercept persons suspected of being trafficked through the Ghana-Togo border to the Gulf Region.
“A total number of 57 young ladies suspected of being trafficked to the Gulf were intercepted and escorted to the Headquarters in Accra for further investigation and the men linked to the trafficking of some of the victims have also been arrested,” he stated.
Mr Duodu revealed that the Aflao Sector Command generated a total revenue of GH¢ 490,802.50) in the first quarter of 2019, which includes an upward movement of 45% as compared to the figure achieved last year within the same period.
According to him, the revenue was generated through the issuance of emergency entry visas, transit visas, penalty for illegal entries, visa for Returning Residents and overstay penalty.
The Sector Commander said the provision of arms, vehicles, infrastructure and the creation of access roads along the borderline would be an added value in the effective management and operations at the borders.
Dr Prempeh took advantage of his presence at Aflao to tour some unapproved routes in the border enclave.
A Special Quarter Guard was held in his honour.