PERSONNEL of the security agencies stationed at the various frontiers and border posts in the country have been urged to exhibit a high sense of patriotism and dedication to duty to curb the upsurge in smuggling activities.
The country loses a chunk of its internally generated revenue to finance its development projects due to smuggling, a negative development that must be halted.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, said this when he paid a familiarisation visit to the various frontier stations and border posts in the region.
Among the areas he visited to access the security situation and the challenges of the personnel were Gonokrom, Nkrankwanta and Kofi Badukrom frontier stations, as well as the Yaakrom, Frimpongkrom and Ahimakrom border posts, all in the Dormaa West Municipality, which serve as the entry point to the country from Cote d’Ivoire.
The regional minister was accompanied by members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC).
According to Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, intelligence reports indicated that there had been an increase in the smuggling of cocoa, petroleum products and teak through the various frontiers in the region.
He, therefore, called for vigilance from personnel posted there to help halt the canker, which was depriving the nation of the needed revenue for development.
The regional minister said apart from donor inflows, the country relied on internally generated revenue to pursue its development agenda, and, therefore, urged the various agencies tasked with that responsibility to put in their best to generate the needed revenue for the nation.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said since the government spent so much money on the production of cocoa, which was among the nation’s leading foreign exchange earners, everything must be done to halt the activities of smugglers.
He also bemoaned the smuggling of petroleum products along those frontiers in the country, saying that the nation spent so much on the importation of those products for only a few ‘nation wreckers’ to smuggle them to the neighbouring countries.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo commended the personnel stationed at those frontiers and border posts in the region for their sacrifices, saying “most of you have left your families behind and all the comforts of life to serve the nation at these deprived areas”.
He, however, advised them to do more to help the nation generate enough revenue to implement its development programmes.
The regional minister also called on the communities along the borders to help check the smuggling activities by providing vital information to the security agencies for them to launch an onslaught on anti-social activities.
The security personnel at the various frontier stations and border posts appealed to the regional minister and his entourage for motorbikes to enable them to intensify their patrols on the numerous footpaths to check smuggling and tax evasion.
They also appealed for office and residential accommodation.