By Ansu Kofi Richard, Syi-B/A
The Outgoing Officer in charge of Migration Information Centre (MIC) in Sunyani Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI) Alhassan Haruna has disclosed that Brong Ahafo seems to be the leading irregular migration region in Ghana through the desert and on Mediterranean.
The trend DSI Haruna claimed has caused the region to loss great potentials who could stay and support the call for development in the region.
DSI Haruna disclosed this in an exclusive interview with the Herald in the Brong Ahafo region. According to him, the service has identified irregular routes of which people use in their journey including the desert and the Mediterranean sea.
Meanwhile, the 2011 – 2012 statistics available indicates that Ghanaian returnees who voluntarily returned from Libya through the interventions of Ghana government shows that about 9,617 representing 52% of the total returnees to the country were from Brong Ahafo region.
Followed by the Ashanti region which recorded about 2,387 indicating 13% of the total Ghanaian returnees of the same year,with Northern region been third with a total number of 1,827 representing 10% of the returnees at the year trail by Upper East region which recorded 1,094 making 6% of the returnees.
Moreover, Greater Accra region had 672 returnees making 4% and Western region had 854 returnees also representing 4% and Upper West region had 766 of the returnees indicating 4% with Eastern region having 568 representing 3% . Besides at the same year, Volta region recorded 368 indicating 2% with Central having recorded 359 showing 2% .
Base on these statistics, Ghana Immigration service with funding support from the European Union (EU) through International Organization for Migration (IOM) in conjunction have established migration information centre in sunyani for the general public.
The centre was established to furnish information relating to the preferred destination countries for the public.
The officer therefore informed the public to take advantage of the centre to acquire any necessary information before traveling.
Again, he notified the public to be guarded against the influx of illegal recruitment agencies in the region because currently per the information there is no legally registered entity in the course of recruitment process to outside Ghana on certain routes.
Notably among the woes of Ghana was that in West Africa apart from Nigeria, Ghana is the next country with high number of irregular migration where many lives especially the youth are perish without recourse to them.
Henceforth, challenged the returnees to testify the risk involved when travel illegally to discourage potential irregular migration. He also urged the traditional authorities, and the general public to support the call to end the menace.
DSI Haruna exemplified that the programme will espouse the returnees with livelihood empowerment projects for the lower and middle people through the Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) project to entice potential irregular migrants.
The empowerment projects will depend on the activities in the respective areas whether cassava, maize or watermelon cultivation to attract the potential irregular migrants.
The Officer was extremely grateful for the European Union to fund the project through the International Organization for Migration to support such a demand driven project in Ghana.