GIS, partners evaluate strategic plan

Regional Commanders, department heads of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Experts and Consultants have been engaged in a four-day workshop in Koforidua in the Eastern region to discuss and evaluate a 5-year Strategic Plan for the GIS.

The strategic plan which was launched in 2018 to 2022 was aimed at developing the long-term capability of the GIS to ensure effective administration, and management of the country’s boarders and update boarder management information and communication systems.

It was also purposed to ensure greater security for citizens and visitors, while guaranteeing the respect for the rule of law and human rights standards.

The workshop was organised by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in collaboration with the GIS and funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund.

The participants would discuss the findings, achievements so far and recommendations of the plan as well as discuss gaps and find workable solution for effective information sharing among the GIS staff and use of the GIS monitoring and evaluation software.

At the opening of the workshop, the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of operations, Mr Laud AkwasiAffrifah, explained that the GIS, as part of the plan, have enhanced its performance by increasing personnel from 4,000 to over 10,0000.

He said due to this, there was the need to codify its standards of operations, review its laws and regulation and get all documents to its personnel to enable them to manage issues and duties effectively.

“Border patrols have become crucial and we need to educate our men on their roles,” MrAffrifah said adding “we have become the first point of refuge and we need to let our commanders know that we will be held for any slip at the boarders.”

He stated the need to put in place strategies to ensure that the boarders were safe to make the Ghanaian citizens live without fear.

The Deputy Comptroller of the GIS stated that the government had done well in providing the Service with the needed equipment, but stated there was the need for more equipment, arms, infrastructure for officers who were guarding unapproved route to enable personnel to prepare well enough for unfortunate incidents.

For her part, the Project Manager of the ICMPD, MrsAmalaObiokoye-Nwalor, said the strategic plan sought to strengthen the GIS capacity, especially in the area of Information Communication Technology and also looked at several components including strengthening the GIS human resources, infrastructure among others.

She said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of the things had to be put on hold, adding, that the challenges to achieve set targets in the strategic plan was also coupled with lack of funding due to COVID-19.

However, she stated that a lot had also been achieved and urged the GIS to stay committed and not relent on its oars to securing the country’s borders.

Speaking on terrorism, she hinted that at the time the strategic plan was drafted terrorism issues had not become as intense as it was these days, and added “in the next strategic plan we hope to add it to better position the GIS to protect the boarders.”

FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA

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