An inter-ministerial steering committee and working group to prepare for the operationalisation the of Joint Border Posts (JBP) in the country was inaugurated in Accra yesterday.
The group, headed by the Chief Directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Trade, Transport, Roads and Highways, Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture has, as its members, officials of the National Security and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
The border posts will be operated jointly at Noepe and Akanu between Ghana and Togo, Elubo and Noe between Ghana and Cote d’ivoire and at Paga between Ghana and Burkina-Faso.
The group, aside the operationalisation, will also undertake preparatory consultations with stakeholders and subsequently with Togo to formulate bilateral agreements for the operations of the JBP.
The Minister of Roads and Transport, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, inaugurating the committee said members were carefully selected in line with the decisions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as provided under its Road Transport and Transit Facilitation and Cross Border Corridor Management Committees of the sub-region.
He said the committee would be co-ordinating with the committees of other ECOWAS members to ensure that they undertake the necessary preparatory consultations with their neighbouring counterparts towards the formulation of bilateral agreements.
“The committee would also work with the ECOWAS Commission in the preparatory activities including joint meetings for the detailed design, construction and operations of the Elubo and Noe, JBP”, he said.
Alhaji Fuseini said the terms of reference would be outlined to guide them on the requirements of the group to ensure completion of all bi-lateral agreements with their counterparts before the commencement of operations at the Noepe JBP.
He urged committee members to be mindful of the challenges in introducing changes in the operational arrangements as well as public interactions while imploring them to be vigilant in all their activities saying that, “we cannot fight poverty if all bottlenecks to trade barriers are not removed.
The Deputy Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Bonaventure Adjavon, on behalf of colleagues pledged to work towards meeting the expectations of all partners.
By Lawrence Vomafa Akpalu