Immigration Service Intensifies security at Ghana's borders
Foreign nationals, upon entering Ghana, are given a 90-day permit to legally be in the country.
The Northern Regional Public Relations Officer of Ghana Immigration Service, Assistant Inspector Christian Kobla Kekeli Zilevu has noted that the service is executing its mandate by intensifying security at Ghana's borders.
According to him, there are a lot of unapproved routes through which people from neighboring countries illegally enter Ghana.
Explaining how the service handles cases of illegal migration, he noted that Ghana Immigration Service has a diplomatic cordial relationship with the security of other countries, where people arrested for illegally entering Ghana are repatriated.
"We liaise with other national security services, and that is why recently, we have done a lot of repatriation since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. In May last year, some 19 Burkinabe nationals were stopped at the Savelugu border post, and then sent back to their country".
Touching on how the service handles cases of narcotics impounded at the borders, he noted that such issues are referred to the Narcotics Control Board - which is the appropriate quarters - for the investigation to officially commence.
He also noted that foreign nationals, upon entering the country, are given a 90-day permit to legally be in the country. He hinted, however, that in some instances, people who exceed their 90-day stay permit refuse to either apply for an extension or leave the country, unless they are tracked down and made to pay a penalty.
"There are penalties, and when you overstay, you are made to pay. If you are caught in town by our law enforcers, you will be made to pay the penalty. Even at the point of leaving the country, if it is realized that you have overstayed your permit, you will still be made to pay the penalty before leaving the country."
Assistant Inspector Christian Kobla also noted that one of the challenges the service faces in its line of duty is the dishonesty of some Ghanaians.
He explained that some citizens of Ghana who are supposed to report illegal migrants rather hide them in the country. According to him, there have been some instances where Ghanaians have attempted to prevent officers from lawfully arresting migrants who do not have resident permit in the country.
Meanwhile reviewing the operations of the Ghana Immigration Service in the Northern Region, he noted that the service performed much better in its operations, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. He said the tightening of security at the borders ensured that illegal migrants could not get into the country.
"At the boarders, a lot of illegal migrants have been sent away, and those who maneuvered to enter the country were arrested and sent back."
He, therefore, expressed optimism that this year, there would be a boost in logistics and patrol vehicles, as well as the number of officers to make the service more efficient in its operations.