Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, May 31, GNA - Ghana is upping its internal security systems with Togo and Cote d'Ivoire to control smuggling activities in the three neighbouring countries, Mr Isaac Crentsil, the Commissioner of Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has said.
He said the Division was collaborating effectively with commandants along Ghana-Togo and Cote d'Ivoire borders saying very soon the country would sign agreement with the two countries to fight smuggling collectively.
The agreement would deepen the existing working relationship particularly between personnel at Takyikrom and Aflao along the Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana-Togo borders respectively.
Interacting with the media in Sunyani, as part of his working visit to Brong-Ahafo Region, Mr Crentsil expressed concern over reports of alarming rate of smuggling activities going on along the country's borders in the region.
This unpleasant situation, he said, informed his decision to embark on the nationwide tour to acquaint himself with operations at the country's entry points.
Mr Crentsil said uncontrolled smuggling of cocoa, cashew, rice, oils and other consumables into and outside the country cost the nation millions of Ghana cedis.
He said rice and oil remained the highest smuggling commodities along the Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire border in the Brong-Ahafo Región.
Though the Customs Commissioner said he was satisfied with the current state of the country's borders, there is need to strengthen the current security situation at the border towns.
His visit took him to Nkrankwanta, Kofi-Badukrom, Yaakrom and Atuna.
Mr Crentsil said the issue of inadequate personnel remains a daunting challenge adding that his outfit would engage more than 5,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) to help address the problem.
On the paperless system going on at the ports and habours, the Commissioner said the process was progressing and making a positive impact on revenue collection.