Customs, GIS join forces in border control

Mr Isaac Crentsil (middle), Commissioner,Custom Division exchanging the agreement with Mr Kwame Asua Takyi (left)Comptroller-General,GIS.Photo: Ebo Gorman

Mr Isaac Crentsil (middle), Commissioner,Custom Division exchanging the agreement with Mr Kwame Asua Takyi (left)Comptroller-General,GIS.Photo: Ebo Gorman

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly manage the country’s borders.

Under the collaboration dubbed, ‘Integrated Border Management’, the two agencies would conduct joint patrols and training, share intelligence, operational equipment and office and residential accommodation.

Agreed upon after about two years of meetings and further consultations, the MoU, is expected to bring to an end years of the struggle for superiority between the two agencies and begin a new era of well-coordinated border operation.

At a brief ceremony in Accra, the Commissioner of Customs, Isaac Crentsil and Comptroller-General of GIS,  Kwame Asuah Takyi signed the MoU on behalf of their respective agencies.

Representatives from the Ministries of the Interior and Finance, Dominic Agyeman and Jones Abban also signed the MoU for the sector ministers.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior said the agreement would propel a robust border security management and gave the assurance that government would support the two agencies with the needed logistics to enable them become more responsive to cross-border crimes.

He charged the agencies to carry out their duties diligently, warning that corrupt personnel would not be spared as their activities would jeopardise the country’s peace and security.

Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, also in a speech read on his behalf, lauded the joint operation as it would boost revenue mobilisation and urged the personnel to abide by the standard operating procedures.

Commissioner General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, recalled and bemoaned the conflict that existed between the two agencies, saying it created unnecessary tensions and relegated the national interest to the background.

Commending them for the alliance, he said it would lay a foundation for conflict-less border operations adding that other border operating agencies were expected to become part of the system soon.

Mr. Crentsil said the country should expect a paradigm shift in border management and pledged that the two agencies would ensure smooth movement of humans and goods.

Mr. Takyi said the absence of the collaboration created an enabling environment for irregular migration, smuggling of goods and humans and other transnational crimes but those issues would reduce with the signing of the MoU.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

 

 

 

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