The government, through implementation agencies, has set up three new training facilities for the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.
These facilities, Mid-Country School at Tepa; Tactical Training School, Kyebi and a Centre of Excellence at Odorkor, Accra, all to be commissioned soon, as well as the ongoing procurement of specialized vehicles, equipment and arms are part of interventions by the government to train and equip the first line of defense of the country’s borders to safeguard the citizens, residents and visitors to Ghana.
This training facilities are part of a comprehensive retooling and enhancement measures for the Ghana Immigration Service to enable it to fulfil its mandate in the face of changing dynamics in border control and crime prevention.
Vice President Bawumia disclosed this when he reviewed the graduation parade of Cadet Intake 17 at the Immigration Service Academy and Training School (ISATS) at Assin Foso in the Central Region on Friday, July 21, 2023.
This is the first Officer-level passing out ceremony for the GIS since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. In all, 357 Cadets received the President’s assent to become Officers of the Ghana Immigration Service after seven months of rigorous training in Immigration Law, Practices and Procedures; Migration Management; Operational Planning; Criminal Procedures; Intelligence gathering and Investigations; Travel Document Management, Map Reading & Navigation; French language, among others.
“The Ghana Immigration Service is responsible for managing the country’s borders and thus serves as the first line of defense, ensuring that whatever comes in and goes out of our country is monitored, including the issuance of visas to non-Ghanaians.
“The Service also plays a key role in national security, trade and investment facilitation, tourism and for that matter national development. You would therefore agree with me that the Service occupies a very strategic position toward achieving peace and security as well as economic prosperity,” the Vice President noted.
“This is a critical part of national defense and the government on it part will not renege on its responsibilities of providing the logistics needed for the GIS to deliver on its mandate. I am pleased to announce that the government has delivered its promise of procuring arms and ammunition for the Service to boost its operations and enhance security at the borders. Again, the GIS would be equipped with specialized surveillance equipment, regional offices, residential accommodation, and other critical operational logistics,” he disclosed.
Alluding to similar provisions made for the Military and the Police, Dr Bawumia assured that the government, in the same vein, “would procure high-performance vehicles to support the operations of the Ghana Immigration Service. The Service is already making important arrests of some foreigners counterfeiting our currency and others involved in cybercrime, thereby damaging the image of Ghana.”
Charging the leadership of the GIS to continually live up to the trust reposed in them by Ghanaians, Dr Bawumia noted: “The management of migration and its implications on security across the world keeps assuming intricate dimensions with each passing day. That notwithstanding, the benefits that accrue to the effective management of migration cannot be underestimated.
“This is why the government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes that the GIS has to adopt a more innovative and robust approach to managing migration in the collective interest of the State. I know you have embraced modern technology as the most reliable tool for reaching this goal. Evidence of this is the implementation of technology put in place for the paperless input of traveler’s data at the Kotoka international airport in March 2023.
“We have also seen some level of implementation of the Ghana card as an e-passport (with the Ghana card the identity of people can be established using their fingerprints). Ghana Missions and other Embassies abroad will be able to establish the identity of Ghanaians using their fingerprints. Identity can even be established without the Ghana card as long as you have been enrolled on the database. The Ghana card is also being linked with existing passports so that travel history will be preserved.”
Dr Bawumia applauded the good relationship and cooperation that has existed and evolved over the years between the Ghana Immigration Service and sister security agencies, which has seen some of these agencies train their personnel at the Service’s training facility.
“The GIS has trained the Narcotics Control Commission and National Commission of Small Arms on two different occasions for each of the institutions. The last training comprises seventy-nine (79) Officer Cadets from Narcotic Control Commission and twenty-nine (29) Officer Cadets from National Commission of Small Arms and Light Weapons. The NACOC Officer Cadets reported on the 21st January, 2023 and graduated on the 28th April, 2023. The Small Arms and Light Weapons officer cadets arrived at the Academy on 4th May, 2023 and graduated on the 2nd June, 2023.”
The government, Dr Bawumia assured, fully appreciates the immense contribution of the GIS and the role it plays towards national development, in the midst of the challenging logistical constraints.
“It is reassuring to know that the Service has mapped out a clear strategic direction towards the achievement of its aspirations in line with that of our dear nation, Ghana,” he added.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD