The Comptroller General of Immigration, Kwame Asuah Takyi has urged potential Ghanaian migrants to use the right channels and seek relevant information before embarking on journeys outside the country in search of greener pastures.
Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of a Migration Information Bureau in Tamale, Northern Region, he said a significant number of irregular migrants never make it to their destination alive.
In their quest to seek greener pastures some Ghanaian youth are forced to migrate to Europe and the Middle East through unapproved means such as travelling via the desserts in Libya and through the Mediterranean often.
Some are also fleeced by middlemen in the process.
Despite the increasing cases of threats and life-threatening experiences of migrants who attempt to use illegal means to travel outside the country, many on a daily basis attempt such journeys.
Ghana was ranked as the 11th highest contributor to irregular migrants in Italy.
Statistics at the Ghana Immigration Service reveals that in 2016, the number of migrants to the gulf region stood at 15,798.
The service believes inadequate information on regular travel opportunities has been a major contributory factor to irregular migration.
To address this challenge, the Ghana Immigration Service has embarked on the setting up of information centres, to offer advice on regular and safe migration.
Kwame Asuah Takyi cautioned the youth to also be mindful of middlemen who promise them jobs and other opportunities outside Ghana for a fee.
“People will come to you and promise you heaven to take you abroad, please you now have the migration information centre here to seek for alternative information, don’t just follow them to go and waste your life. There are opportunities here in Ghana so it is not true that you can only make it when you travel abroad”
The Spanish Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Alicia Rico Perez Pulgur on her part, called for a stronger collaboration between Spain and Ghana to prevent irregular migration.
“This is an issue that touches Spain very closely, we believe that we need to ensure cooperation between the countries of origin, transit and destination to prevent irregular migration and promote quality and safe migration”
The facility which is supported by the Spanish government will serve the northern sector and some parts of southern Ghana.
The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed who was also present at the occasion, advised the youth to take advantage of the facility to seek relevant information on migration.