National migration policy in the offing

Ghana is in the process of finalising its first-ever national migration policy to facilitate the management of the country’s internal and international migratory flows.

The policy is intended to enhance national development, as well as sub-regional, regional and global interest, and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the lead state institution in the management of migration in Ghana, has a daunting task of leading its implementation.

The Minister of the Interior, Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, made this known at an orientation and interactive meeting of the GIS board, management and regional commanders in Accra yesterday.

He said the ministry was also leading and facilitating the agenda to re-enact the Immigration Service Act 1989 (PNDC Law 226) to make the service more relevant and adequately strengthen it to discharge its mandate.

“Indeed, Cabinet has already approved a draft bill in this respect, and this will be laid before Parliament for further action.

The ministry is also assisting the service to finalise the GIS regulations, which, when completed, will greatly better the conditions of officers while in active service and on retirement,” he said.

Mr Woyongo said it was important to recognise that in the current dynamic phase of the globalisation process, migration was inevitable and it would be an illusion to believe that goods, capital and services could move freely across state borders without a simultaneous expansion in the scale and scope for human mobility.

The Director of GIS, Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr Peter Wiredu, said the true benefits of migration could only be derived if the requisite structures such as policies, laws and implementation framework of relevant state institutions involved in the management of migration were enhanced and co-ordinated.

He said Ghana had about 3,200 kilometres of land borders, stretching from the east, west and north with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and of varying typography with several river bodies, lakes, streams, as well as mountains, making the border demarcation spongy and porous.

For his part, the Chairman of the GIS Board, Mr Cletus Avoka, said the GIS was a key statutory agency in the national security architecture of the nation as it served as the frontline agency responsible for the management and control of the nations’ borders, as well as the first point of contact for travellers arriving in the country.

Source : Graphic Online