The Sierra Leone Immigration Department on 17th January, 2011 started a two weeks demonstrating training exercise for 40 Immigration Assistant officers and 50 Border Guards in the Board room of the Sierra Leone Library Board in Freetown.
The opening ceremony of the training was attended by dignitaries from various security sectors and senior government officials including the Inspector General of the SLP, Francis Munu, the Chief National Fire Force Officer Kamanda Bongay and the Chief of Staff President’s Office, Kelfala Marah.
The Immigration Department of Sierra Leone is a government institution within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Local Government and Rural Development. The Department in collaboration with partners has designed the implementation of ‘Capacity Development of Personnel Project’ which is aimed at strengthening the capacity of Immigration staff to improve service delivery. A senior member of staff intimated Awoko that the Department did not receive or solicit funding from any partner to undertake the exercise. “We simply saw the need to do so”, he maintained.
The idea of recruiting Border Guards comes against the backdrop for the need to secure our porous borders that have been a serious security concern for the country.
The basic function of the Immigration Department is to ensure that movement of people in and out of the country is regulated.
The training is being conducted by some senior staff members of the Department including Michael Bassie (IO), A.J.Timbo (RIO), Kadie Sesay (IO), Jonathan Moriba (AIO) A.A.Joaque (Admin. Officer) and some others. Various topics bordering on Immigration duties will be treated. According to the Admin. Officer Assan Joaque, the training is very important as the personnel involved will be serving at very strategic points. A.A. Joaque told Awoko that this is the first time that Border Guards have been recruited at the Immigration Department. He also pointed out that the training of Immigration Assistants is of vital importance as they will be supervising the Border Guards to ensure sanity in the discharge of their duties.
Some of the topics that will be treated include: Understanding of migration, General Theories behind Immigration, Economic migrants, Ethics of Immigration and Migration Statistics etc.