Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior, has warned security officers against extorting money from people especially travelers, through illegal rates, to facilitate movement at the entry points of the country.
He said reports had reached the ministry suggesting that some security officers at the country’s border points charged travelers unapproved fees in order to work on the movement of their goods and services and noted that it was unacceptable and must be stopped.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Nandom in the Upper West Region, warned that any officer who caught engaging in such practices would be dismissed and punished accordingly.
Mr Dery gave the warning at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, during an engagement with personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) as part of his two-day tour of security agencies in the region.
While commending the security agencies in the region for the diligence and commitment to fighting crime such as fertilizer smuggling, armed robbery, illegal mining and for keeping the country safe amidst eminent terrorist threats among others, the Minister stated that they were some personnel within the service that engaged in unacceptable acts.
He said the entry points were the first point of contact foreign nationals made when accessing the country, therefore, it was imperative for security personnel particularly the Immigration Service to exhibit professionalism and discipline to print a good impression about the country.
The minister advised them to be patriotic and live beyond their selfish interests, “anyone who charges what is termed as facilitation fees would be facilitated out of the service and facilitated into prison, we do not have something called facilitation fee”
He said government was committed to resourcing the Immigration service and other sister security agencies under the Interior Ministry such as; the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service and Ghana Prison Service to enable them work effectively to combat crime.
He said government started a process to train and retrain personnel on the job to upgrade the security sector to an international standard and gave the assurance that all security agencies under his jurisdiction would remain on CAP 30 and government was working towards making it sustainable even after their tenure of office expired.
He urged all security agencies including; the military to prioritise public interest and safety and work together to keep the country safe especially from terrorist attack.
Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Dedzo, the Deputy Regional Commander of the GIS, said though his outfit chalked lots of success, they were faced with many challenges including; lack of ammunition, accommodation and vehicles and motorbikes to venture into remote areas, especially along the unapproved routes.
The Minister who was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr Henry Quartey, Mr Kwame Asuah Takyi, the Comptroller General of the GIS and other staff of the ministry, also visited and interacted with the staff of the Navrongo Central Prison in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.