THE Minister of the Interior, Mr Martin Amidu, has urged security personnel at the various border posts to devise new strategies to combat smuggling and other anti-social activities, which threaten the economic growth, peace and security of the nation.
Mr Amidu was responding to concerns raised at separate meetings with security personnel from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) at Kofibadukrom and Gonokrom, both border posts between Ghana and La Cote d’ Iviore in the Dormaa West Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region as part of his working visit to the region.
The concerns were that the government should consider sealing all the unapproved routes at the Kofibadukrom and Gonokrom borders that had made patrolling and surveillance difficult for personnel and the need for the government to address logistical, office and residential accommodation challenges of security personnel at the border posts to enable them to discharge their work efficiently.
Mr Amidu further urged the security personnel to set up snap barriers on the unapproved routes from time to time to discourage residents and non-resident citizens entering or leaving the country from using them.
He sated that keeping the frontiers of the country safe was a shared responsibility between the security agencies and residents living along the borders.
Mr Amidu, therefore, urged the security personnel to engage both Ghanaian residents and their non-resident counterpart in a dialogue to help in the maintenance of law and order at the borders.
He gave the assurance that the government was committed to address the logistics constraint, office and accommodation problems of the security personnel at the various border posts.
The minister, therefore, implored the various municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) to complement the efforts of the government by providing such facilities to promote the maintenance of law and order in their various areas of jurisdiction at the borders.
He commended security personnel working at the various border posts in the country for their commitment and dedication to duty in spite of the challenges and urged them to sustain the spirit as the government was taking proactive steps in addressing their welfare.
Mr Amidu, who was accompanied on his visit by the acting Chief Director of the ministry, Alhaji Salifu Osuman, senior officials at the ministry and a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative to Ghana, had earlier paid separate courtesy calls on the Dormaa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Vincent Oppong Asamoah and the Dormaa Traditional Council.
At the palace of the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyeman Badu II, Mr Amidu said he was in the region to visit the various agencies under his ministry to know at first-hand the conditions under which they worked, and to formulate policies to address them.
He thanked the Dormaa Traditional Council for donating 50 acres of land to the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and pledged that the land would be put to good use.
Mr Amidu was also grateful to the traditional council for its decision to construct a municipal police command for the police service which was about 80 per cent complete.
He gave the assurance that the ministry would liaise with the Police Administration to assist the council to complete the project to facilitate the posting of more police personnel to the area.
Mr Amidu further gave the assurance that the government had secured loans from the India and the United States of America (USA) Exim banks to procure fire equipment and engines for the GNFS, while a deal with the Belgium government for the same purpose had been sealed.
Mr Amidu added that when the new fire engines arrived in the country, priority would be given to fire stations which did not have some, including the Dormaa Municipal Fire Station.
He called on all traditional councils to support the ministry in the maintenance of law and order, as well as the promotion of peace in their various traditional areas by providing security facilities such as police posts to make it possible to post police personnel there.
The Aduanahene of the Dormaa Traditional Area, Barima Yeboah Kodie, who deputised for the Dormaahene, appealed for the construction of police barracks and the opening of more fire stations in the traditional area, as well as the establishment of the proposed Immigration Training School by the government at Dormaa Ahenkro.