Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, Minister of the Interior, on Tuesday assured personnel of the security agencies manning the Elubo Border Post in the Western Region, of government?s commitment to equip them with the necessary logistics, to combat the illegal smuggling of cocoa, fuel and other goods to Cote d?Ivoire.

Mark Owen Woyongo, Minister for Defence

He has, therefore, charged them to be extra vigilant, not only to check smuggling, but help prevent the influx of small arms and ammunition into the country, since that could pose a security threat to the country?s peace and security.

Mr Woyongo entreated them to thoroughly screen travelers from Ebola endemic countries, before granting them entry permits, to prevent the country from being infested with the deadly virus.

Mr. Woyongo gave the assurance during a familiarization tour of the Elubo Border Post in the Jomoro District, where he acquainted himself with the security situation there, and interacted with the staff of the various institutions and agencies under his Ministry.

He took advantage of the visit to tour the various offices and facilities at the border post, and assured the personnel that government would consider constructing new modern facilities at the post, to boost security and maximize revenue collection for the state.

The minister stated that the border post was a strategic location, and therefore government would review the legislation that established the Ghana Immigration Service, so that personnel of the Service could carry weapons and ammunition in order to deal decisively and swiftly with illegal smugglers and miscreants armed with sophisticated weapons.

He, however, cautioned them to remain professional, disciplined and responsible in their daily duties .

Mr Woyongo, who is also the Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central, entreated the security agencies there to share information and intelligence reports, and also collaborate with the civilian population, in order to get vital information from them, to maintain the current peace and harmony prevailing in the country for accelerated national development.

The Acting Ghana Immigration Service Commander in charge of the Elubo Border Post, Assistant Controller of Immigration Mr. Smart Osei Bonsu, mentioned some logistical constraints affecting the smooth operations of the security personnel, including broken down communication system, obsolete equipment, inadequate vehicles, and lack of staff accommodation, among others.

He, therefore, appealed to the sector minister to use his high offices to provide these logistics, to enhance their operations in order to increase revenue for the state.

He also appealed to the minister to intervene to ensure a 24-hour supply of electricity at the post, as well as provide speed boats and life jackets, to enable them to patrol the Tano River where most smugglers and miscreants used canoes to cart goods across the river to Cote d?Ivoire.

The minister?s entourage included the deputy regional minister, Mr. Alfred Ekow Gyan, the Regional Police Commander, DCOP Isaac Alex Quainoo, the Director of Finance and Administration at the Interior Ministry, Mr. Evans Dziku, Director of Public Relations and Research at the Ministry, Mr. Samuel Amankwa, as well as other heads of the security agencies in the region.

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