Mr Kwabena Akyeampong, Deputy Minister of the Interior, on Friday reiterated government’s commitment to strengthening the institutional capacity of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).
He said the GIS was an important aspect of national security, and added that government’s priority was to prevent illegal and irregular movement of persons across the territorial boundaries of Ghana.
Mr Akyeampong was speaking at the passing-out parade of the 19th recruit intake of the training school of the (GIS) at Assin Fosu in the Assin North District of the Central Region.
He said the traditional role of the GIS was to operate fair and firm immigration controls that essentially regulate and facilitate the movement of people through Ghana’s borders with efficient and effective visa, residence and work permit regimes that meet the social and economic needs of the country.
Mr Akyeampong noted that with the discovery of Oil in Ghana, coupled with the peaceful environment and stable economy, investors were attracted into the country and this has significantly changed the dynamics of migration into Ghana.
He said it was the expectation of government that in the discharge of the GIS statutory functions, foreign nationals who were allowed into the country will abide by the relevant immigration laws and the general laws of Ghana and also contribute to the sustainable economic well-being of the citizenry without compromising national security interests.
Mr Akyeampong said the Government was ensuring the security of Ghana’s borders against the smuggling of cocoa and petroleum products, illegal crossing and human smuggling.
He said the Ministry of the Interior seeking to propose amendments to the country’s Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573), to include human smuggling and make the phenomenon a prosecutable offence, adding, “This requires the urgent training of prosecutors in the service in anticipation of such legislative amendment.”
Mr. Akyeampong said Ghana has made remarkable strides towards building an enviable democratic culture and the country was known as one of the leading lights of democratic governance in Africa.
“Our resolve once again to show-case our maturity in democratic tenets will be tested in December this year as the country goes to the polls for the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. I wish to encourage all Ghanaians to go through the biometric registration exercise peacefully”.
He congratulated the Board and Management of the GIS for their efforts at putting up a two-storey building complex through the Service’s Internal Generated Funds (IGF) and also the development partners, especially the Danish Government, for renovating the ladies’ dormitory and putting up a Computer laboratory at the Academy.
Mr Akyeampong reminded the recruits that the purpose of training was to enable them acquire the necessary skills and expertise that critically requires effectively performance of the core functions as prescribed under the provision of the PNDC Law 226, the immigration Act 2000 (Act 573) and other ancillary pieces of legislation and regulations.
Four Hundred and sixty six officers made up of 312 Males and 154 Females passed out.
The overall best recruit award went to Anthony Kyie Mensah and the best academic recruit went to Danquah Bernard while Ms Jennifer Affram, won the most discipline recruit.
The best physical trainer went to Mr Edward Okorley Acquah, the Best Drills/Female and Male went sward to Ms Emmanuella Sylvia Edele and Mr Isaac Boateng Bonsu respectively, while the best obstacle crossing recruit award went to Edgar Victor Owusu Gyamfi.