The government has commissioned two newly constructed barracks accommodation for the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) at Sefwi Wiawso and Dadieso in the Western North Region.
The facilities, some of which were started in the former President John Agyekum Kufuor administration but got stalled, are six, two bedrooms, one three bedrooms a-four storey 16 bedrooms barracks.
The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Derry, speaking at the commissioning, said that without security there would be no development, hence, the government’s commitment to continue to provide for the welfare of all the security agencies in the fight against terrorism and all forms of crimes.
The Minister urged personnel of the GIS to remain alert, vigilant and not be complacent, as our borders with Ivory Coast were not open, and that this was the time when, together with other sister security agencies were expected to be on red alert to fight terrorism.
He stated that “this was the time that we must all be steadfast in our intelligence gathering, and use the opportunity to encourage members of the public to play an effective role of supporting the security agencies with information about suspicious characters and their movements within our communities and border towns.”
He also called on the media to use the various platforms at their disposal to sensitise the citizens on the need to be alert for suspicious activities within the communities, deepen the understanding of the threat of terrorism and its effects in our beloved country, Ghana.
Mr. Derry went on that the state security agencies were working tirelessly to protect the country against internal and external threats, and this was the reason why the government, on her part, had committed to funding to put up Forward Operating Base (FOB) at the Northern borders for the GIS to strengthen and beef up security at the frontiers.
The Minister expressed gratitude and appreciation to the traditional authorities in those areas for the release of land to enable the construction of the barracks.
The Interior Minister was grateful to the Controller General of the GIS for providing the needed leadership and supervision for the dreams to become a reality.
According to him, Ghana was confronted with complex border security issues, such as human and drug trafficking, cash crops and small arms smuggling, and that it behooves on the GIS, and more particularly, the Border Patrols Unit, to screen and monitor foreigners to ensure that they do not pose security threats to the country, which begins at the borders.
He continued that what was worrying was these smuggling syndicates involved some corrupt uniformed personnel at the borders, who turn blind eyes to their infractions for selfish gains.
As the government takes steps to retool the GIS, it was expected that the officers would do their best to protect the borders, and not allow miscreants to pass through to disturb our peace, he states.
Still on the government’s attention for the security, Minister Ambrose Derry said that in the first term of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the security services had a tremendous increase in their enrolment levels, with the GIS more than doubling its human resource capacity.
He named logistical supports in camp beds, shock buttons, handcuffs, tents, night vision binoculars, ballistic helmets and vests, raincoats, uniforms and boots having been supplied to enhance their performance.
He also announced the creation of 87 new Sector Commands to bring immigration visibility to almost every district of the country to ensure rigorous enforcement of immigration law to support internal security.
The Controller General of GIS, Mr. Asuah Kwame Takyi, during the commissioning of the 4-storey 16 two-bedroom flats barracks at the Dadieso Sector Command, assured the government of their commitment to rising to the occasion when it comes to adherence to the maintenance cultures at the barracks.
According to the highly elated Controller General, the flats accommodation which were commenced in 2006, during the administration of President J.A. Kufuor by the then first female Director, Ms. Elizabeth Adjei, had been at difficult stages of the construction.
According to him, during one of his tours across the country, came to see the project meant for the Border Patrols Unit stalled and without hesitation directed the Estate Sector of the Service to liaise with the contractor to ensure that it is completed on time to accommodate the personnel at Dadieso.
To him, having a barracks like this has come as a huge relief to the officers who are currently in rented apartments scattered and renders it difficult for mobilisation in the event of emergency.
The commissioning of the barracks projects is another success story of the transformation agenda in improving the accommodation deficit for the service which is geared towards providing decent and befitting places of abode for personnel.