The new Strategic Plan of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), rich in training direction for officers charged with border security management, is an appropriate response to the insecurity in the West African sub-region of which our country is an integral part.
Of course the previous one has outlived its usefulness in the face of emerging and sophisticated security challenges.
The West African sub-region has evolved to become home to terrorists, bandits and kidnappers.
A glimpse of the new policy direction as contained in the document came to light yesterday when the security agency engaged with stakeholders on enriching the publication.
We have consistently commented about the emerging spate of terrorism in our sub-region and how close it is to us in Ghana.
The wave of refugees from terrorist-infested Burkina Faso to Ghana speaks volumes about the subject and how we should be primed for eventualities as a country.
Our focus in such commentaries has been how to get policymakers to consider augmenting support for the GIS in the light of their constitutional mandate of securing our frontiers.
There could not have been a better response to the terrorism threat than altering as contained in the training regimen of officers at the Immigration Academy and by extension the Training School.
Officers, men and women, must be properly educated about the changed times in the light of terrorism next-door to our country.
Today's immigration officer must be one ready to take on and defeat terrorists who traverse our frontiers using time-tested tactics, field craft and fire control orders.
We are grateful to our development partners, especially the European Union, for their consistent support for our border security management, which lies on the bosom of the GIS, of course with support from other security agencies.
Government too deserves a pat on the back for eventually appreciating the importance of arming the service.
The gathering of representatives of key stakeholders in border security management such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Border Commission, Office of the Attorney General, including sister security agencies was an exercise in the right direction. The inputs of these germane agencies in appraising the strategic document cannot be overemphasised.
The management of the GIS did well by organising the forum; the dividends of inputs from the stakeholders would ensure a better primed immigration department ready for the task of warding off terrorists and persons whose presence on our territory won't inure to our interests.
Security is multifaceted, each department dovetailing to the other. It is for this reason that periodic engagement by the various security agencies is necessary.
The stakeholders' engagement of a couple of days ago should constitute the beginning of a periodic feature on the diaries of the security agencies. The engagements would enable the actors at the top echelon of their services to exchange notes and strategise for the future.
We shall use this opportunity to once more call upon government to consider providing more vehicles and related inputs such as weapons and accommodation, not forgetting communication gadgets to the GIS so they can discharge their constitutional mandates to satisfaction.