Patience Gbeze/ Jamila Abubakari, GNA
Accra, May 31, GNA – Mr Felix Yaw Sarpong, the Out-gone Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), on Wednesday said, he was grateful to God for the modest successes chalked during his administration.
He said the early period of his tenure saw the passage of two prominent legislations, namely, Immigration Service Act, 2016 ( Act 908) and Immigration Service regulations, 2016 (L.I. 2245) and these legislations had brought a lot of positive transformation in the structure and outlook of the Service.
“Let me say here and duly credit Commissioner of Police Dr Peter Wiredu, the immediate past Director of GIS, for the outstanding role he played towards the passage of the aforementioned legislations,” he added.
Mr Sarpong who was speaking at a pull-out ceremony organised for him to usher in Mr Kwame Asuah Takyi, the new Acting Comptroller-General of GIS, in Accra, said his tenure also saw an increase in the Service internal revenue generation, exceeding the revenue target for 2016 by about 22.7 per cent.
That, he said, was in excess of the yearly target by over GHȼ17 million.
He said they were able to reduce the housing deficit of officers, especially in Accra with the acquisition of a 3-bedroom, 16-flats executive apartments in Dansoman.
“With the support of Management, I completed some key projects which were started by my predecessor. Some of which include; the completion of and furnishing of the headquarters Expansion project, Gonokrom Residential Accommodation for officers, completion of the acquisition of a two-block of eight-flats, two-bedroom residential accommodation at Kpone,” he said.
He said the headquarters project was to enhance the working environment of the Headquarters and that led to asphalting of the courtyard and expressed his gratitude to Queiroz Galvao Construction Company for their support and partnership.
The approval for the use of a customized vehicle registration number “GI” by the GIS and the addition to the stock of vehicles, motors bikes and accoutrements, and other logistics were part of the successes chalked during the Out-gone Comptroller-General’s tenure of office.
Mr Sarpong charged his successor to urgently complete and roll-out the e-immigration project, which was expected to enhance the business processes of the GIS and inject efficiency and professionalism into its operations.
He also called for the need to strengthen the border patrols by providing arms and ammunitions as well as modern border management equipment to enhance the territorial integrity and security in the light of current threats of terrorism and other transnational crimes.
He also touched on streamlining and regulating the administration of issues concerning border residents, building of a new and modern National and Regional Headquarters, establishing of chaplaincy for the Service, and pursuing a harmonised system of identity and record management of foreigners and the travelling public.
He, therefore, urged all Officers and men, Management as well as all partners and stakeholders to give the same level of support to his successor to enable him also achieve more successes.
Mr Takyi, on his part, said the GIS had recognised and appreciated all the valuable contributions the Out-gone Comptroller-General made to the Service and commended him for his hard efforts in shaping the Administrative and Operational delivery of the Service.
“Of course, we all know how painful it is to say goodbye to a friend, superior officer, leader and a father of a great institution such as ours. However, we all need to express sincere gratitude for his immense contributions not only the Ghana immigration Service but to the nation as a whole.
“I must indicate that my interaction with Management on his leadership, it is worth noting and that all are privileged to have worked with him…..but let me assure him and all gathered that I am stepping in with humility to take up the mantle of leadership and build on the foundation that he laid,” he added.
Mr Takyi announced that one of his visions was to see to the enactment of a new Immigration Act to replace immigration Act 2000, Act 573 to meet the current trends and challenges of migration, and also to strengthen border management and national security in the light of global terrorism and transnational crimes.
He therefore, assured the Out-gone Comptroller-General of his readiness to consult him when the need arose on matters affecting the Service.
Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of the Interior, was full of praise for Mr Sarpong for the successes chalked under his administration and commended him for his selfless and dedication to work which he said had impacted positively on the development of the Service.
“This ending you have experienced is not the end…. It’s just your life beginning again in a new way. It’s a point in your story where one chapter transitions into the next and I pray the good Lord guides you to make the most out of it, for it is the time to start writing the first line of the next chapter of the book of your life,” the Minister assured Mr Sarpong.
To the new Acting Comptroller-General, Mr Dery said, “I want to use this opportunity to wish you well as you take the mantle of leadership.
Mr Sarpong joined the GIS in January 1979 from a very humble beginning as a Junior Officer and rose through the ranks to become a Commissioned Officer of the Service by dint of hard work.
He progressed steadily in his career to become an Assistant Director and Deputy Director of operations.
He is the second serving Immigration Officer to have become a Director; then the first ever Comptroller-General of Immigration.