The Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, has assured officers of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) to stay calm as issues involving their conditions of service and promotions are resolved.
He has also asked them to follow appropriate procedures in putting out their grievances and not do anything which could affect the integrity of the board.
There were reports in sections of the media that some offices were up in arms against management for failing to address issues such as review of their salaries, promotions and upgrade in the ranks of both junior and senior officers.
Addressing a section of the staff after paying a working visit to the premises of NACOB in Accra, Mr Dery gave an assurance that every officer would be treated fairly and equally.
“Under my tenure, I will ensure that all officers are treated equally and fairly. I do not see the reason why some officers who just entered the profession would be promoted immediately ahead of their seniors,” he said.
Mr Dery was accompanied by his deputy, Mr Henry Quartey, and other officials from the Ministry of the Interior.
They were conducted round the facility by the acting Executive Secretary of the board, Mr Francis Kofi Torkornoo. They visited the laboratories and monitoring and exhibit rooms.
The visit offered the officers of NACOB the opportunity to ask questions, seek clarifications on issues involving their work and make suggestions that would enhance their performance.
Mr Dery also pledged to see to the passage of the Narcotics Control Commission Bill by the end of this year.
The bill, which is at the consultation stage, seeks to transform the NACOB into a Commission and further give it more powers to deal with drug trafficking, drug abuse and money related issues more effectively and efficiently.
Key among the issues that the new bill seeks to address is the seizure and freezing of money belonging to drug offenders.
“The bill is at the consultation stage and will ensure that it would be passed into law by the end of this year, so I would urge you to bring on board all your inputs to speed up the process,” he said.
Mr Dery also applauded the officers for working with limited resources and gave an assurance that “we will also address some of those challenges.”
“Drug cartels are very powerful. They have huge resources and budgets, so you need to be united, get enough resources and motivation to fight them. There are also plans in place to train a lot of the officers to have international exposure to enhance their work,” he added.