Accra, March 03, GNA – The Government is implementing critical operational measures to address the capacity needs of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to perform its mandatory duties effectively, Mr Prosper Bani, the Minister of the Interior, has said.
Speaking at a two-day Africa Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC) workshop, in Accra, Mr Bani said the Government recognised the role of its border control agencies, particularly, the GIS in combating transnational crimes.
AFIC is an international platform for information sharing and analytical work among border security practitioners across Europe and Africa.
The workshop, the first of its kind in Ghana, has brought together border security experts from across Europe and Africa to share ideas in confronting recurring cross border crimes.
It is being organised by Frontex, the European Agency for the Management of operational cooperation at the External Borders of Member States of European Union in collaboration with AFIC. It is being hosted by the GIS.
Mr Bani said the ability of the GIS to play its role in developing and sharing intelligence with sister agencies and its international partners depended, to high extent, on its capacity.
He said the first step was the passage of the new Immigration Service Bill which, would bring about considerable change in the organisational structure and functions of the Service.
The Minister explained: “Key among the changes introduced by the new Bill are the Elevation of the Head of Immigration from Director to Controller-General; and the authority for border patrol officers and men to hold arms in the performance of their duties.
“The Authority for immigration officers to issue visas at Ghana’s Missions abroad, and opportunities for engagement in international cooperation are others.”
The Minister said in advancing national security further, the GIS would from next week begin an intense and continued monitoring of hotels and dwelling places to ensure compliance with the Law.
He called for cooperation with the Service as they performed this important and legitimate mandate.
“I expect officers of the GIS to attend to this with professionalism and avoid complaints of harassment and bribery,” he added.
Mr Bani, therefore, reiterated the Government’s assurance and commitment to ensuring global security.