Ghana ready to join global fight against illicit drugs trade – Veep

Ghana stands ready to collaborate with all relevant international bodies and organisations in dealing with the world drug problem, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated.

“The world drug problem requires international cooperation and collaboration in dealing with the transnational nature and also the international organised criminal gangs who are involved in the illicit trade,” he added.

He said this at the graduation parade of Basic Narcotics Cadet Course 7 at the Immigration Service Academy and Training School at Assin Fosu in the Central region yesterday.

In all, 78 officers graduated after five months of training to boost manpower and help combat the illicit drug menace in the country.

He said government was committed to ensuring that the necessary support is provided to each agency under the Ministry to execute their mandate as prescribed by law.

 Dr Bawumia stated that in March 2020, Parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020 (Act 1019) and the President assented to it in May the same year.

“The passage of Act 1019 gave the Narcotics Control Commission an enhanced mandate and powers. The Commission now enjoys the power of entry, search, arrest and seizure, authorised officer may arrest with or without a warrant,” he added.

He said the Commission also has the power to use firearms and assured of government’s commitment to assisting the Commission in achieving its mandate as stipulated in Act 1019.

 The Vice President said “trade facilitation was key to the development of every nation and Ghana is no exception. In view of that, the government is in the process of procuring more k9 dogs for the Commission to enhance their operations at the Kotoka International Airport and other relevant operational areas to facilitate trade”.

 Dr Bawumia said government would continue to retool all the security agencies, including the Narcotics Control Commission, to protect the communities, borders and in particular the youth who are vulnerable to the use and trade of illicit narcotics trafficking. 

 He said government was working and collaborating with other countries such as the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany and other organisations, including United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and ECOWAS, in the area of drug law enforcement, and also support the Commission in a variety of ways, such as capacity building and equipment to improve its operations.

“Despite some of the challenges faced by the Commission, the government is committed to ensuring that NACOC’s operations and activities become a significant model for achieving its mandate,” he assured.

 He urged them to be resolute and maintain discipline, resilience, and focus on their job description, as well as avoid engaging in activities that will not benefit their professional working life and has the potential to tarnish the image of our dear country.

 He advised them to remain professional in all of their responsibilities and avoid being influenced by unpatriotic individuals acting primarily in their own self-interest to combat illicit drug trafficking and related organised crimes.

As part of the occasion, the overall best and best in Academic awards were presented to Ivon Walier Kuutiero.

Best in physical training awards were presented to Chelsea Bawumia and Mintah Yaw Nyarko.

The best in drills award was presented to Roland Neequaye.

In attendance were dignitaries, including Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, service commanders, officials from Narcotics Control Commission,   representatives of sister security agencies, traditional rulers and clergy.


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