Mr Ken Ofori Attah, Minister of Finance, has said plans are underway to install a state-of-the-art ground and air Integrated Intelligence Infrastructure at Ghana’s major entry points to enhance security and respond to threats at the country’s frontiers.
He said government also intends mounting an integrated communications infrastructure at those border points, which would be reinforced by heavy military deployment with ground and air support in the short term.
Additionally, Government, after assessment of the threat on the Northern frontiers of the country, has deployed a robust pre-emptive and preventive response along those areas.
Delivering the Mid-Year Budget Review and Economic Poly Statement to Parliament on Thursday, Mr Ofori-Attah said Government had revamped and retooled the Ghana Boundary Commission since the beginning of 2021 to undertake its strategic mandate of determining and demarcating the land boundaries and the delimitation of maritime boundaries of Ghana in accordance with accepted principles of international law.
He said government would also further support the Ghana Boundary Commission to enhance their operations to ensure that the land and maritime boundaries with neighbouring countries were secured and protected.
Mr Ofori-Attah disclosed that Government was working to further retool the Intelligence Agencies through the deployment of enhanced Intelligence Infrastructure to ensure that those outfits are able to effectively provide early warning as well as targeted responses to any envisaged threat to the country security.
He said even though Ghana remained a pillar of stability in the region, the sub-regional security situation continued to be rather volatile, with terrorist threats and general cross-border security becoming increasingly imminent in view of the continuous extremist attacks in the Sahel Region, particularly from Mali and Burkina Faso.
The Minister pointed out that the southward drift of the activities of violent extremists, terrorists and pirates in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) have become more widespread, frequent and deadly, with the underlying dynamics growing increasingly complex and posing high risks to littoral countries.
“There were as many as 5,845 fatalities to terrorist related activities in 2020, a 21 percent increase in the 2019 figure of 4,825 in the West African Sub-Region,” he noted.
Mr Ofori-Atta indicated that it had become imperative to address the existing vulnerabilities, and intensify pre-emptive, preventive, and counter measures to any potential threats to Ghana’s security and sovereignty in the light of the risk of the sub-region suffering a contagion effects in the short to medium term.
He said Ghana continued to demonstrate leadership on sub-regional security issues, coordinated through the Accra Initiative, which serves as a coordinating and intelligence sharing platform with neighbouring countries with the objective of preventing spillover of terrorist activities from the Sahel, and to address transnational organized crime and violent extremism in member countries’ border areas.
The countries forming the initiative are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo.
Mr Ofoi-Attah mentioned that various equipment and hardware have been acquired for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) by the Government over a period, all in the effort to retool GAF to enhance combat and operational capabilities.
The equipment and logistics include Utility Vehicles, trucks, high occupancy buses, ambulances and armored personnel carriers.
The Minister said work had begun on the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Ezinlibo close to the Western border to protect the country’s oil, gas, and other natural resources.
The FOB will improve the Navy’s response time to the oil fields at the Western border. The project also includes the acquisition of high-speed phantom boats and associated equipment.
The Government, he said, aims to establish 15 FOBs across the country, eight of which will be in the Northern part of Ghana, to prevent cross-border crimes and terrorist infiltration.