The Director of Programmes at the Ghana Integrity Initiative has revealed that, the Ghana Immigration Service is highly perceived as corrupt.
According to Mrs. Mary Awelana Addah, the service consistently competes with other revenue mobilising organisations for the top five spots in perceived corrupt ranking indexes.
“We realised from the past, in the various surveys we have conducted, that corruption in the sectors that create opportunity for mobilising revenue for this country, is very high when it comes to perceptions.
“Our perception surveys confirm that the Ghana Immigration Service is one of the institutions where bribes, particularly those to ensure that documents are pushed, are done,” she said Wednesday, on Corruption Watch, an anti-corruption crusade on Joy FM.
Mrs. Addah’s comments come at a time the Ghana Immigration Service has come up for praise.
The Comptroller-General of Immigration (CGI), Kwame Asuah Takyi, last week honoured six Officers at a staff durbar at the National Headquarters in Accra for their dedication to duty.
The honoured Officers on August 1, intercepted 1,950 bags of NPK Fertilizers meant for the Planting for Food and Jobs programme at Fielmon, an unapproved route, at the Ghana – Burkina Faso border in the Upper West Region.
They declined an inducement offer of GH¢25,000 offered by the smugglers.
The Officers include the Hamile Sector Commander, Chief Superintendent Felix Agyeman-Bosompem, Assistant Superintendent Razak Mohammed and Inspector Prince Osei Bonsu.
The rest are Assistant Inspector Benjamin Duah, Immigration Control Officer (ICO) Godfred Amponsah and Assistant Immigration Control Officer 1 (AICO I) Maurice Logochura.
The Programmes Director of GII said more needs to be done for the service to live up to its mandate.
“They (GIS) have consistently ranked from the first to the fifth when it comes to perceptions of individuals on corruption,” Mrs. Adda told Animwaa Anim Addo, host of the SMS.
In fact, she believes the corruption at the Ghana Immigration Service goes beyond perception.
“When it comes to actual experiences of corruption, we also know that in our parts of the world, perceptions and experiences are almost equal. What we perceive are our lived experiences,” she explained.
Citing examples to demonstrate how corrupt the Immigration Service is, she said even though they are supposed to ”secure our borders, unfortunately, they are perceived to aid and abet people into this country illegally.“
This, she says, is “derailing our revenue mobilisation drive.”
Her assertion has, however, been rejected by the Immigration Service.
Superintendent Michael Amoako-Atta, PRO of GIS “I don’t know what research went into that because we are there to prevent this (illegal migration).”
Amoako-Atta added that people confuse other state agencies for immigration service and ascribe their infractions to them.
“At the border where we work, we have multiple agencies working there even though Immigration Service is the dominant one so if anything goes wrong they say Immigration Service,” he said in exhilaration.