The Ashanti Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr. Emmanuel Odartei Lamptey, has called on all employers in the region to furnish the service with the names of expatriates working in their firms, industries and corporations to enable it to regularise their stay in the country.
He said the Ghana Immigration Service 2000 (ACT 573) strictly directed all employers in the country to provide the service with the names of all expatriates working in the country at the beginning of each year but said employers had woefully failed to abide by this directive.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Lamptey contended that the failure of employers, especially those in the Kumasi metropolis, to comply with the law, had hindered effective monitoring of the expatriates.
This, he said, had made it impossible for the service to differentiate between those who had genuine working permits and those illegally working in the country.
He said the service would pay regular visits to companies and firms in the Kumasi metropolis to determine whether or not employers were complying with the directive.
He said prior to such visits the service would undertake its own investigations to know the expatriates working in the individual firms to determine if the information given to the service by employers was accurate or not.
He said any company or firm that falsified the information given to the service would be severely sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Regional Commander stated that some expatriates had taken advantage of the country's trade liberalisation policy and trooped into the country to work in their numbers without acquiring the necessary working documents.
He said as part of the measures to reduce the rate of crimes committed by expatriates, the service would intensify its patrols and hotel checks to ensure that those who lodged there had the correct working documents.
He said the checks would also be extended to factories and companies and, therefore, appealed to the public to furnish the service with the names of foreigners working without documents to ensure that sanity prevailed in the country.
He said it was equally important for proprietors of hotels to collaborate with the GIS to fight the crime rate in the country because most of the criminals used the hotels as their bases. Explaining furthermore Mr. Lamptey said by the very nature of their work, proprietors of hotels were in daily contact with foreigners and should, therefore, be able to monitor their activities and report those who indulged in criminal activities.
He said it was the collective responsibility of all Ghanaians to ensure that expatriates who entered the country acquired the correct working documents.
Mr. Lamptey stressed the commitment of the service to live by its motto,” Freedom with Vigilance”, and, therefore, urged all expatriates who entered the country to always regularise their stay and also acquire the requisite working documents to enable them to enjoy their stay.