817 Ghanaians Changed Nationality Last Year

A total of 817 Ghanaians denounced their citizenship, as against 39 foreigners who applied to naturalise as Ghanaians last year.

Of the Ghanaians, 538 applied for German citizenship, 233 sought to Dutch citizenship; Norway, Thirty two; Denmark, seven; Austria, five; Hong Kong, one and China, one.

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi(inset),addressing the audiance.Photo.Seth Adu AdjeiThe 450 females and 367 males, cited, among others, good economic conditions, high wages and salaries and other incentives associated with their profession as reasons for their exit.

The Interior Minister, Kwesi Ahwoi, announced this yesterday, when his ministry took its turn at the –Meet-the-Press-series in Accra.

The minister who focused on the operations of the 11 sectors under his ministry, said before granting permits to the applicants, his outfit ensured that their passports and other relevant documents were collected.

On the other hand, he said, if the applicants upon a second thought wish to come back to restate their status as citizens, they had to reapply to become citizens of Ghana upon which further checks would be made to the respective countries to which they applied, to ensure that they cancelled all relations and relevant documents including passports collected from them.

With respect to the 39 who applied to become citizens of Ghana, the minister said 29 had been approved with the remaining 10 awaiting the ‘green light’.

Of those approved, he said, Lebanese constitute the majority of 17, Indians, five, with one each from Italy, Nigeria, Korea, Egypt, America, Britain and Liberia.

Mr Ahwoi said his outfit was also investigating reports from Togo that 17,000 Ghanaians were seeking asylum in that country since 1993, following communal and other sectoral violence that hit some parts of the Northern regions.

Mr. Ahwoi said the working hours for granting application including work permit among others had been revised to lesser hours compared to previous times.

He said his ministry was seeking approval from Ministry of Finance to secure a loan to procure some state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate the operations of the various security agencies.

 

Mr. Ahwoi said more people would be recruited into the police service, next year, to beef up the population of police personnel to meet the United Nations ration of one policeman to 500 civilians.

 

On the Prisons Service, the minister said the fencing of the Ankaful Main Camp Prisons and converting it to a category ‘B’ prison was in the offing adding that the area had also been fitted with closed circuit televisions.

Plans, he said, were also underway to undertake major rehabilitations in the various prisons as well as the introduction of communal sentences to commence by close of the year.

On immigration, he said, his outfit would purchase sophisticated equipment to the service to deal with issues relating to boarder management.

Touching on the Fire Service, the minister said 75 fire tenders, five water tankers and other fighting equipment worth $12, 534, 373 were ordered last year, saying that 42 of the fire tenders and associated equipment had been delivered.

The minister was full of praise for the operations of the National Disaster Management Organisation and expressed concern about the haphazard sitting of structures on water ways which caused disaster, particularly, during rainy seasons.

On activities of the Narcotic Control Board, Mr, Ahwoi said besides opening five new regional offices at Cape Coast, Wa, Accra, Sunyani and Koforidua, additional two border posts, were opened at Paga and Elubo, while 40 people had been arrested for narcotic related offences.

He said that the Small Arms Commission registered over 10, weapons last year and had embarked on public education on the procedures to acquire arms and light weapons. By Francis Asamoah Tuffour   & Emma Wiafe

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