Block illegal routes at borders FDA Board urges govt

BY: Daily Graphic
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority

The Governing Board of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has urged the government to block all illegal land routes along the country ‘s borders.

The FDA board said there was the urgent need for the government to intervene to ensure either a complete closure of such routes or their strict monitoring.

Illegal routes

It said such routes were used to smuggle some regulated products into the country and it required the government’s intervention to deal with the issue.

The call follows a tour to the Volta Region by members of the board to familiarise themselves with activities at the Aflao and the Akanu borders, as well as some of the unapproved routes of entry
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There are currently 20 unapproved routes along the Ghana Togo border. The board visited beats One and Nine and Pillar 13, all unapproved routes.

Smuggling

At the Aflao Border, the members were welcomed by the Commander of the Aflao Sector of the Customs Division of the GRA, Mr Nathan Tetteh Quaye Jnr, who briefed them on the illegal activities going on at the place and complained about the inadequate human resource which was hindering efficient work.

He singled out smuggling as a major activity via those routes and called for more personnel to be able to guard against it.

Inter-agency collaboration

Mr Quaye praised the level of inter-agency collaboration among the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), the FDA, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the Ghana Immigration Service and the Customs Division of the GRA, which had led to the seizure of large quantities of products such as foodstuffs, medicines, cosmetics, clothing, etc.,

some of which were suspected to be substandard or fake.

He called on the FDA to set up a laboratory at the border to help test products entering the country to ensure the protection of public health and safety.

The commander also commended the police, the Ghana Navy and the other security agencies that had assisted in minimising smuggling on the sea and river routes.
 
Mr Quaye noted that the existence of such unmanned illegal routes made it easy for unregistered products to enter the country, putting the lives of consumers at risk.

“This calls for increased market surveillance activities to ensure the protection of consumers,” he said.