The Minister for the Interior, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, has described the alleged influx of refugees and ex-combatants of the Niger Delta Region into the country as mere exaggeration by some self -styled ”executive members” of the Niger Delta Residents Association.
According to him, ”though statistics available indicates that there are increasing Nigerian community living in Ghana, most of them are traders with only a small fraction from the Niger Delta Region.”
The Minister made these known in Parliament in response to a question by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akropong, William Ofori Boafo, on causes of the influx, its impact on the political, social and economic activities of the country and the measures to curb it.
The Interior Minister revealed that investigations undertaken by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) indicated that media reports of the alleged influx of Niger Delta refugees into the country were
exaggerated as a result of misinformation by ‘executive members’ of the association, all in a bid to attract attention.
He was emphatic that there is no seriousness in terms of an influx threat in the country, adding that the figure mentioned by the ”executive members” cannot be substantiated.
He observed that the only Nigerian youth from the Niger Delta Region, were posted into the country under a contract with the Federal Republic Amnesty Programme of Nigeria, to be trained in fitting and welding at the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) in Takoradi, in the Western Region.
Dr. Kunbuor pointed out that ”with the deployment of the Border Patrol Unit of the GIS, the country’s frontier areas were being monitored, thereby, discouraging the usage of unproved routes by travellers.”
In an answer to another question by the MP for Ketu South, Mr. David Nana Larbie, on the circumstances which led to the construction of a beach wall into the Atlantic ocean at the south-eastern gates of the Aflao Border Post, Dr. Kunbuor said that the construction is part of the Aflao Border Complex project and it is aimed at preventing smuggling of goods as well as illegal entry and exist of persons along the beach.
The Minister explained that the previous wall which was constructed some years back was swept away by tidal waves, leaving the beach area opened for smuggling activities and illegal entry and exist of migrants into the country, hence, the need for the construction of a beach wall into the Atlantic ocean at the south-eastern gates of the Aflao Border Post.