Poor land border management could pose serious national security risk -GIS

The Western Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), DCOI Dr Prosper P.D. Asima, says poor border management could present a serious risk to our national security.

Based on this threat, he said, there was the need for the Service to develop a robust border management system to bring about positive change.

According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic had presented an opportunity for the Service to rethink the way it manages, whilst, at the same time, targeting criminal groups posing a real security threat to the country.

He noted that the closure of the country’s land borders had forced  migrants into using unapproved routes, or relying on smugglers to sneak them in and out of the country, and that they must be alert.

DCOI Dr. Asima was addressing the Fourth Annual Western Regional Commanders and Unit Heads Conference, held at Nzulezu in the Jomoro District over the weekend.

The theme for the conference was, “Effective Migration Management in a pandemic and emerging Security Threats, Repositioning the Western Regional Command.”

The conference, initiated in 2017 by DCOI Dr. Prosper Asima upon assumption office as Regional Commander, had since become part of the annual tactical and operational strategy of the Western Command of the Service.

DCOI Asima told the conference that with the recent terrorist attacks on clients, it had become one of the major security concerns in the country, as well as the sub region, and encouraged the officers and men to be more vigilant in their operations.

He feared that migrants associated with such groups may travel across the region using unapproved routes or the various entry points.

For this reason, heightened and regular border patrols should be intensified to ensure that there were no gaps to be exploited by saboteurs, warning: “If such activities are not curtailed by our alertness, migrants will seek the services of these criminals at an increased cost; increased vulnerability, and increased risk, as smugglers themselves adapt to harsher and riskier operating environments.

“You are to note that it is in these situations that security concerns need to be amplified not only because of threats posed by illegal migrants, but also the increasingly sophisticated ways transnational criminals conduct themselves and take advantage of loopholes.”

He said with Western Region hosting key installations like Atuabo Gas, Jubilee field, TEN Fields, Aboadze Thermal Plant, and Karpower with enormous other resources, it was incumbent on the Ghana Immigration Service and other security agencies within the region to ensure curtailment of  security threats in the enclave.

He, therefore, called for collaboration with other security services in gathering of intelligence, development of new strategies, and sharing of information amongst others.

He acknowledged that security agencies needed to work together to deal with emerging threats by cross-utilisation of experts and resources warning again that “we cannot continue to use the silos approach”.

He said as a government agency responsible for managing and securing the borders of this country, they should recognise that security is key to our national survival and that  it was a shared responsibility that required collective efforts. The western Regional Commander also used the conference to commend the sector border team for the extensive patrols of unapproved routes, and the interceptions of illegal entry and exits.


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