The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with funding from the European Union, has handed over vehicles, Information and Communication Technology equipment and other items to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to enhance their capacity to effectively manage borders.
The equipment, valued at GHC2.3 million include two four-wheel drive double Cabin Nissan Pick-Ups, with their accessories, computers, motorbikes, Anti-Virus-Kaspersky 2016, Flashlights, Swivel Chairs, Projectors and Statistical Analysis Software (Analytic Pro).
They would be deployed to the Migration Information Bureau Unit, Border Patrol Unit and the Management Information Unit of the GIS.
They were acquired under the European Union-funded Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) project, which aims to bolster the Government’s migration management efforts through enhanced border management and strengthened data collection mechanisms.
It would also enable potential migrants to make informed migration decisions.
Mr William Hanna, the Head of European Union (EU) expressed concern about the state of migration to the European countries saying, “In 2016 a total of 5,636 Ghanaians arrived in Italy by boat, which was an increase of over 27 per cent as compared to 2015”.
He stated that the top priority of the EU was to save the lives of migrants.
“Mobility can benefit both Europe and Africa- but it must happen legally and safely, not by turning the Mediterranean and the Sahara into mass graves,” he said.
“This is the core message since the Valletta Summit, and the basis of our partnership with Africa and with Ghana”.
Mr Kwame Asuah Takyi, the Comptroller-General of the GIS, extolled the achievements of the GIMMA project, which he said, embraced the finalisation of the GIS Training Syllabus and Curriculum, the construction of five ultra-modern posts along the Eastern and Western regions and the construction of a 70-Seater ICT laboratory at the Training School at Assin Foso.
He, therefore, expressed appreciation to the EU and its member countries for their continuous support.
Mr Henry Quartey, the Deputy Minister for the Interior, said the Government fully identified with, and shared the commitment of the International Community and supported the principle that humane and orderly migration benefited the host and origin countries as well as migrants.
“Government, therefore, views the commitment and support of our development partners as crucial in the fight against irregular migration through burden sharing to effectively manage migration in our mutual interests,” he said.
Ms Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, the Chief of Mission at the International Organisation for Migration, commended the EU and reminded the GIS of the need for the application of proper care in handling the equipment to serve its intended purposes.
The donated IT equipment and vehicles would be used at the GIS Headquarters, Kotoka International Airport and the Aflao, Elubo and Paga borders.