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CUSTOMS DIVISION TO REMOVE ALL INTERNAL CHECKPOINTS & BARRIERS – COMMISSIONER DECLARES

 

Comptroller-General of Immigration, Kwame Asuah Takyi (middle) in a group photograph with Commissioner of Customs Division of the GRA, Mr. Isaac Crentsil (second left) after the meeting

As directed by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Agency (GRA) would by September this year, remove all internal barriers of Customs Checkpoints across the country as part of measures to bring more revenue into the country and intensify the facilitation of free flow of trade and goods.

The move is to remove all seemingly standing blocks that delay or prevent smooth trading facilitation along the ECOWAS transit routes and make Ghana´s port more desirable and competitive in the sub-region.

In place of this, the division would increase intelligence led risk based patrolling along the highways and borders to ensure that traders are free from armed robbers and other dangerous elements in society that impede upon facilitators of trading activities.

The risk based border patrols according to the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the GRA, Mr. Isaac Crentsil, would be a collaborative effort and a joint action to be championed and collaborated by all security agencies including the Ghana Immigration Service.

The Commissioner says, it would roll out the first phase of this plan which is also in line with international best practices of the World Customs Organization body under the coordinated border management protocol before the end of July this year. This was disclosed when the High Command from the Customs Divisions of the GRA led by their Commissioner-General, paid a courtesy call on the Comptroller-General and the Management of the

Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) at the GIS Headquarters in Accra. Delivering his remarks, the Commissioner of Customs announced that the removal of internal checks would begin from the northern sector of the country. He said, apart from the ECOWAS International checkpoints situated at Savelugu in the Northern Region and the Offinso checkpoint in the Ashanti Region, all other barriers would be removed from the highways by 31st July, 2017.

The second phase would also see to the removal of checkpoints of the Southern belt which would exclude the 32 Junction Check Point towards Elubo on the Axim -Takoradi Road and the Dabala checkpoint in the Volta Region by 15th August. A nationwide removal of all other internal checkpoints would be done after the first assessment in September to allow Government´s objective of smooth flow of trade to be fulfilled.

He hinted that, the risk based patrols is a strategic approach expected to capture and arrest operators of illicit flow of funds, narcotic drugs and small arms dealers around the country. The Customs Commissioner assured Ghanaians that, ´the removal of barriers would not bring any serious mishap to Ghana but rather take away all impediments and standing blocks for free flow of trade´, he noted.

The Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Kwame Asuah Takyi receiving his guest assured him of a solidified GIS/Customs collaboration that would last longer to benefit both sides and their respective personnel at the borders. Mr. Asuah Takyi urged the press and the general public to give out valuable information that would lead to apprehending deviant characters such as traffickers, smugglers, armed robbers,

cross border crime operators, in the society that tries to put a threat on our national security. As part of the visit, a quarter guard was mounted in honour of the Commissioner-General of the Customs Division of the GRA.

BY:

Gifty Amgborme

Snr. Insp.

Public Affairs

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