Security agencies operating within Ghana’s entry points and borders are undertaking various measures to intensify vigilance and enhance capacity towards keeping the country’s gates safe in the event of emergencies and unexpected occurrences such as pandemics and rapid migration.
To this end, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) with support from the Integrated Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) has met with security agencies operating at the Tema Port in a forum to assess the draft contingency plan of the GIS, which forms part of the Strengthening Border Security (SBS) in Ghana project.
The SBS Ghana Project is an initiative of the Ghana Government and its partners from the European Union.
The forum brought together key officials of the Immigration Service, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Port Health Unit of the Ghana Health Service, the Customs Division of GRA, the Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service, the Marine Police Unit and the National Intelligence Bureau.
According to an Assistant Commissioner of the Ghana Immigration Service, who is also the Chairman of the Technical working group that developed the draft contingency plan of the GIS, Samuel Basintale, the plan will undergo initial testing in an inter-agency simulation exercise at the Port of Tema on Thursday March 18.
He said, “we strongly believe that because Tema Port has all the statutory agencies working at the entry points, if it works here, certainly it should work even better at the other frontiers.”
He explained that such comprehensive plans when deployed will ensure that the needed synergy required from all stakeholders at the country’s entry points during emergencies is achieved and emerging threats eliminated effectively.
The Harbour Master and Chairman of the Port Facility Security Coordinating Committee, Capt. Francis Kwesi Micah said such programs will enable the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority pick on the requisite guidelines needed to sufficiently provide the infrastructural and personnel support while ensuring business continuity in case of emergencies.
“In case we are having the issue of rapid migration or influx of refugees either via the political or pandemic, GPHA, under this guidance will be able to stand the test of time in coordinating or being part of the solution seeking measures that would be put in place.”
Capt. Micah added that failure to execute proper security interventions in the event of emergencies such as the influx of refugees through the port, other secondary problems like stowaway, terrorism, and importation of diseases may emerge.