The Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) has been outlining some achievements and strive at the BIN including plan for the establishment of a training academy in Foya, Lofa County.
BIN Commissioner Cllr. Lemuel E. A. Reeves said as a means of enabling BIN conduct its training free of hindrances, his administration has embarked on the establishment of the training academy in Foya, Lofa County, to serve as a regional training ground for countries of the Mano River Union(MRU) basin especially Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and perhaps other African Countries.
Cllr. Reeves told the regular weekly MICAT News Conference last week that Liberia’s development partners especially the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) are supporting the establishment of the training academy in Foya.
The BIN Commissioner said as a means of uplifting its manpower capacity, 250 out of the 1,000 applicants were sent to the Liberia National Police Training Academy (LNPTA) for training and after four months of Intensive training, 234 graduated and were immediately deployed in the 15 counties.
He further noted that during the period, the BIN trained 10 out of 29 BIN officers to serve in the leeward counties as deputy county commanders for Naturalization. He said also that applications are being received from interested officers to be trained as Deputy County Commanders for Administration.
Cllr. Reeves a no stranger to law enforcement in Liberia, also told journalists that in February 2014, with assistance from UNPOL and the BIN Advisory Team, 20 BIN trainers underwent intensive two weeks Training of Trainers Course(TOT) at the Integrated Mission Training Center (IMTC) at UNMIL Headquarters.
Still on building the capacity of the BIN, Cllr. Reeves disclosed that during the period under review, four officers returned from the Republic of Ghana after training program at the Ghana Immigration Academy, while three senior officers including two females and a male are undergoing training at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMAP).
Cllr. Reeves also noted that the BIN has put in place strong measures to restraint the illegal crossing of aliens into Liberia. “Officially, there are 176 border towns in Liberia and prior to training and deployment of officers, 36 ports were officially manned by BIN officers.
Cllr. Reeves said following the deployment, an additional nine border ports have been added to the 36, thus increasing the number of ports officially being manned by BIN to 45 ports.
He further stressed that the Border Patrol Unit (BPU) which is the armed unit of BIN has been deployed along the borders with Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea to conduct foot and mobile patrols as a means of curtailing or preventing transnational crimes such as arms, drugs and trafficking in persons in Liberia for interdiction and illegal entry.
Col. Reeves noted that as the Government embarks on the takeover of security in the country in the face of UNMIL’s drawdown, UNMIL and the GOL and other partners have completed and turned over some border ports around Liberia as a conduit of enhancing the BIN’s work along the Liberian Border.
On completed projects of the BIN, Cllr. Reeves said for the first time in Liberia, the BIN as an institution have built residential quarters as a pilot project for its officers along the border with Sierra Leone at York Island, Grand Cape Mount County and an additional quarters for BIN officers with Liberia and Guinea border in Gboata, Bong County.
He also disclosed that plans are on the way for the construction of more residential quarters around the country through the ECOWAS Fund that is managed by the Ministry of States for Presidential Affairs.
Cllr. Reeves also disclosed that ECOWAS has donated five vehicles to BIN, including one troop carrier truck, three Toyota Land Cruisers and a Jungle Pick-Up. He added that four of these vehicles are deployed in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland Counties, while the troop carrier is being used to assist with the deployment of BIN officers at their areas of assignment.
Cllr Reeves said BIN officers are using these vehicles wisely to encourage donor partners to provide more assistance through the Government.