Henry Quartey (2nd from right), Minister for the Interior, exchanging pleasantries with some officers of the Ghana Immigration Service. Behind him is Kwame Asuah Takyi (right), Comptroller-General of the GIS
Henry Quartey (2nd from right), Minister for the Interior, exchanging pleasantries with some officers of the Ghana Immigration Service. Behind him is Kwame Asuah Takyi (right), Comptroller-General of the GIS
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Don’t do politics here! Interior Minister to Immigration officers

The Minister for the Interior, Henry Quartey, has urged Immigration officers to be professional in their conduct and not allow themselves to be patronised by politicians.

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“We are to serve God and country and protect our borders at the entry and exit points.

“Please do me a favour, don’t do politics here. If you want to do politics, tell us, so that we can go and register you with a political party,” he added.

The minister was speaking during a working visit to the Ghana Immigration Service Headquarters in Accra on Thursday to acquaint himself with the operations of the service ahead of the general election in December, this year.

Unacceptable behaviour

The minister also asked the officers not to assist travellers with their bags at check points, including airports. 

He said: “some of you (immigration officers) pull passengers’ bags right from the car and walk them through checkpoints. That has to stop with immediate effect, and I mean with immediate effect.

“Do you know what that passenger is carrying? In the event where security agency personnel decide to carry a random search and you decide to carry that bag, what have you done to yourself and the image of the service,” Mr Quartey queried. 

He said in other jurisdictions, immigration officers stationed at airports focus on their core duties and only carry bags of suspected travellers for further investigation. 

Commitment 

The minister further described the GIS as an integral part of the country’s security architecture, for which the government was committed to supporting the service carry out its duties effectively. 

In line with that, he said, the GIS had between 2017 and 2023 recruited more than 9,400 eligible citizens into the service, and also provided them with over 360 vehicles and 250 motorbikes. 

Mr Quartey added that following the increasing security threats confronting the continent and the West Africa sub region, there was the need for recruitment and training of additional personnel to man the country’s borders to ensure peace, safety and security.

Also, he said the GIS in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service, had developed a border and permit management system under a harmonising and improving statistics in West Africa (HISWA) project.

The project is being deployed to regional commands and 40 minor entry-exit points which are currently without electronic border management system to collect data of travellers.

He commended management and staff of the service for their sense of discipline and hardwork over the years.

Appreciation 

The Comptroller-General of GIS, Kwame Asuah Takyi, expressed appreciation to the government for the support it continued to offer to the service to ensure efficiency.

He mentioned the establishment of a mid-country Immigration Training School at Tepa, a Tactical Training School at Kyebi, the establishment of Ghana Immigration Service Centre of Excellence at South Odorkor and the construction of Immigration Service Academy School (Cadet) at Assin Foso as some of the strides made since 2017. 

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