Mr. Martin Amidu, Minister of the Interior, announced that Government would this year approve the recruitment of about 2,000 people into the Ghana Police Service, to increase its strength. He explained that the current police strength in the country was woefully inadequate and there was the need to recruit more people into the Service to make it more effective and efficient.
Mr. Amidu was interacting with personnel of the Upper West Regional Police headquarters, in Wa on Thursday, during an official visit to the region.
He said the Service was finding it difficult to ensure total maintenance of law and order because it was understaffed. Mr. Amidu cautioned that the recruitment unlike in the past would be purely based on qualification and competence.
He stressed that only committed people who would take policing as a vocation would be recruited and not those who were merely seeking jobs. Mr. Amidu said Government would ensure that only qualified people, capable of maintaining law and order within the confines of the law, and protecting the image of the Service were recruited. He commended the Police for maintaining law and order in the region and asked them to establish good relations with civil society so that they could discharge their duties effectively.
The Minister said Government was working hard to provide the Service with vehicles, accommodation and logistics to enhance its work. Mr. Roy Roja Aminu, Upper West Regional Police Commander, said the region had only three divisional offices that were not functional and appealed to the Minister to address the issue.
At the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Mr. Amidu said that Government would soon approve the recruitment of about 1,000 officers into the GNFS to enable it to discharge its duties effectively. Mr. Kwaku Manu Afful, Deputy Regional Fire Commander, said that despite accommodation and logistical constrains, the GNFS has been able to achieve 24 percent reduction in fire cases in the region.
He said the non-payment of utility bills as well as failure to renew the National Health Insurance Scheme cards for fire officers was affecting their welfare and called on the Minister to help solve the problem. Mr. Amidu visited the Wa Central Prisons and called on Prison Offices to treat inmates with respect but cautioned that any prisoner who would misbehave should be properly dealt with according to law. Mr. Lord Nii Boye Tagoe, Upper West Regional Commander, said that some inmates of the Wa Central Prisons were receiving training in weaving and tailoring.
He said the inmates had about 96 acres of arable land out of which 30 acres would be used for maize farming, five acres for the cultivation of groundnuts and the rest for food cropping. Mr. Amidu said that Government would ensure fair distribution of resources to institutions and agencies to bring about the better Ghana it promised.