By Ndey Sowe
Ebrima Mboob, the Commissioner for Administration at the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), said Government should technically involve them when looking into contracts that matter to them, for the sake of accountability and prosperity. Commissioner Mboob made this and other remarks during a press briefing recently organised by the GID, to update the public on the work of the Department’s activities during the year under review and the way forward.
“We hope that as technical advisory staff, the Immigration Department should be key in all contracts that matter to the Department, for the sake of prosperity and accountability. We have good staff who are very much specialize in some of these areas and I think Government should realised by now, that as an agency or department that is very much mandated to look into identification, border management and other immigration relevant sections, should be technically involved in looking into contracts that matter to us,” Commissioner Ebrima Mboob, the Commissioner for Administration at the GID said.
The press briefing also serves as a platform to inform the public through the media on its reform agenda that the department has undertaken in the implementation of its strategic plan, availed members of the press the opportunity to clarify doubts on behalf of the general public, as well as the action plan of the GID for the year 2023 and the challenges they face in their operations.
According to Commissioner Mboob, even the building they currently occupy is not fit for purpose and the state has not given them the amount of budgetary allocation that can provide them a suitable headquarter.
“When it comes to the challenges, occupational safety and safety of the environment in which we work, is one thing you need to know and we hope that there will be enough done by the Government or international stakeholders into this,” Commissioner Mboob highlighted. Regarding logistics, he said their bilateral partners have done so much for them and that a good number of vehicles they use for their operations, is provided by them.
Commissioner Mboob urges the Ministry of the Interior that is in charge of the oversight responsibilities of GID, to support in ensuring that they are well funded to ensure the attainment of their activities and goals; That with porous borders, the GID can make a difference as a stronger institution in ensuring the security of the Gambian people.
On his part, Commissioner Baboucarr Janneh, the Head of Operations at GID said the Department also collaborates with other agencies to carry out their operations. That they know how difficult and challenging it is for them when it comes to the management of the porous borders of the country in North and South banks of The Gambia.
“From Farafenni to Janjanbureh we have the presence of only one immigration post which is in Wassu, where the border lies porous for 115 kilometers. This area is an open country where tens of thousands of people pass through without seeing a single immigration officer and this is something we are really concerned about,” Commissioner Janneh said, and urged the Government to build more Immigration posts within these to check on the people entering and leaving the country.