The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization or BIN has ended a two-day self assessment and agenda setting retreat in Bentol, Montserrado County.
BIN Commissioner Lemuel A. Reeves, Sr., said the two-day event held over the weekend was intended for the Bureau to examine itself and derive strategies that will make it services to the public effective and efficient.
Commissioner Reeves said in the wake of the ongoing draw down by the United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL; the BIN, which is the first line of contact for people entering the country, must be prepared to assume full control of Liberia’s entry points and other Immigration functions.
He added that when UNMIL leaves, much will be expected of the BIN and other security apparatus in protecting the post-conflict nation and its people.
He said this was the main reason behind the retreat to identify challenges and gaps in order to strategize on how to make the Bureau performs its duty with credibility, integrity and professionalism.
The BIN boss narrated that immigration personnel are charged with the responsibility to discharge their duty in the interest of the State and its people.
Commissioner Reeves also said efforts are underway to revamp the BIN training academy in Lofa County in order to train more personnel for service.
He disclosed that Government has allotted US$600,000 in the 2014/15 fiscal budget to commence renovation work on the training academy.
According to the Commissioner, his administration will strive to build the capacity of immigration personnel and increase salaries based on improvement of the economy.
Cllr. Reeves stressed that ranking of officers would be based on merit, adding, “If you want to be promoted, you will have to take exam…and if you fail, your rank will be reduced.”
For her part, acting Justice Minister, Wheatonia Dixon-Barnes, commended the Bureau for organizing the retreat, saying, “self- assessment is an important tool for transformation.”
She said, the Ministry of Justice will work with authorities of the BIN to reform the institution so that it can ably perform its statutory duty.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for the United Nations Police in Liberia, or UNPOL, lauded the BIN leadership for organizing the retreat to take stock of its activities and set agenda that would enable the Bureau to fill the gap after UNMIL’s departure.
By Ben P. Wesee