Abednego Rawlings Orstin, President of the United States Africa Command, Ghana
The President of the United States Africa Command, Ghana Mr. Abednego Rawlings Orstin, wants foreigners within Ghana to acquire residency, work and study permits.
His suggestion covers Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and Africa Union (AU) citizens. “If the foreigner wants to attend school, work or do any business, they must acquire additional permits. Those who flout the directive have to be fined or serve a jail term,” he said.
According to Mr.Rawlings, his suggestion follows recent spate of the crime in the country, attributing it to these foreigners.
“Ghana has become the hub of cyber-crime even though fewer Ghanaians are involved in such crime. Over 96% are foreigners are to blame. They cannot leave their nations and come here to commit violent crimes like rape, robbery and kidnapping,” he said.
“Although Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) is a body that was mandated to bring free trading, free movement and more within West Africa States, each state has to protect itself first and to issue residence, study and work permit to each foreigners,” he added.
Mr. Rawlings indicated that the government of Ghana should engage the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to initiate Biometric identity cards for all foreigners in Ghana.
“All institutions in the country must make sure that Ghana’s interests are pursued first before regional bodies like Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), Africa Union (AU) etc. This he said were necessary to curb the rising spate of violent crime in the country which are being perpetuated by foreigners,” he said.
Mr. Rawlings indicated that Ghana has become too free to the extent that even foreigners sell lands without proper documentation to indigenous Ghanaians, sparking conflict in the process.
Mr. Rawlings outlined the following suggestions to keep tabs on foreigners:
1. Each foreigner must pay a fee of USD$.300.00, for a residence permit and pay a renewal fee of USD$.200.00, every six months.
2. All landlords and landladies who will rent out their houses and properties to foreigners must inform the Rent Control Department for the necessary documentation to enable the government agency place an eight (8) percent tax according to government renting tax-laws.
3. Both landlords and landladies who want to rent properties to foreigner must inform Ghana Immigration Service and Rent Control Department in case of any occurrence (health issues etc).
4. Foreigners who use Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) driving document must go for Driver and Vehicle License Authority (DVLA), roadworthy certificate before using our roads.
5. Foreigners have no right to retail in Ghana if they are not registered with the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA).
6. Foreigners who want to purchase lands in Ghana must do so through the Lands Commission of Ghana for proper documentation.
7. Landlords and Landladies should not rent out their houses or properties to foreigners who don’t have two of these residences, working and studying permit. Property owners who flout this directive should attract heavy sanctions like finds or three months jail terms.
8. All foreigners who own properties in Ghana must pay 16% tax to government. Failure to do so will surely attract six-month jail awaits defaulters.
9. Foreigners who roam in Ghana without residence permit must only stay in hotels; a foreigner without residence permit can be arrested and face criminal charges. This law applies to foreigners residing in United Arab Emirates.
10. Any foreigner married to Ghanaian with children should not be a citizen automatically until he or she spends ten (10) years in Ghana without any crime history. 11. All Telecommunications companies in Ghana must demand Identification Cards(IDCARD fromeach foreigner before issuing them with sim-cards.
12. All Telecommunications companies must linkup in a way that no foreigner will have two or more Sim-cards with different networks.
13. Finger prints and pictures of foreigners must be taken by Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) so to allow for easy tracing when foreigners commit crimes or becomes victims.
14. Foreigners who own or operate restaurants, club houses, game centers, shopping malls or super markets, institutions must apply or request for a twenty-four hour police protection.
15. Foreigners who fail to comply with the above directives will surely face the full rigours of the law.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.