The Tema Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has had engagements with Vessel Owners and Agents as part of its efforts for effective policing of the Portof Tema.
The engagement is also to help GIS gather information regarding their services to the Vessel Owners and Agents and take their concerns regarding their dealings with Immigration Officers.
In a speech read of her behalf on Thursday by the Deputy Tema Regional Commander, Chief Superintendent Martin Dordzie at the Tema Regional Office, the Tema Regional Commander, indicated that "it is our duty to ensure that all stakeholders who operate at our various borders and entry points are well educated on their responsibilities and sanctions that apply when these responsibilities are not fulfilled."
Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI) Belinda Adwoa Sika Anim believed that the meeting would bridge the information gap that normally existed when stakeholders failed to engage one another periodically on issues that affected them.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the programme, the Deputy Regional Commander of the Service, Chief Superintendent Martin Dordzie, observed that "the GIS is supposed to partner government in its effort to make sure the country develops."
"But as an Agency, we have a role to play which is security in the sense that we want to give timely security information to management of our institution and onward to National Security for decision making," Chief Suprintendent Dordzie said.
He indicated that their operations led to some revenue generation as such "we put in place measures to ensure that enough revenue is generated and that any leakage which would take away any revenue is blocked."
The Head of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Intelligence, Tema, Sheik Labaran Salifu Barry, said the stakeholders meeting was critical because there was the need to educate vessel owners and agents about the issue of illegal immigrants.
"The stakeholders must be given education and training so that they could also sensitize their people," he stressed.
Sheik Barry said the main issue with immigration security at the port was the subject of stowaway "but we are fortunate, in the last two years, there has been no issue of stowaway from the Tema Port. All we've had was disembarkation of stowaways, a situation in which the guys had joined the vessel somewhere and were disembarked in Tema."
The President of Berthing Meeting Association, Mr. Alexander Odoom, pleaded with Immigration Officers to help facilitate the processing of documents of their clients when their vessels dock at the Port to avoid delays and fines which could cost the Agents their contracts with their clients.
As part of the meeting, the stakeholders ask not to allow a passenger who embarked outside Ghana to disembark until authorized by an immigration officer, and that all persons entering Ghana shall enter at an authorized point, processed to the nearest immigration office, produce his travel document, and complete the prescribed immigration form to be processed.
The Agents were also informed on the need for their crewmen on board their vessels to secure works permits before commencing work in Ghana.