The Government has been asked to move quickly to fix structural defects on the Kumasi Central Prison building to avoid any accident.
Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Lord Nii Boye Tagoe, the Ashanti Regional Prisons Commander, described the present state of the structure as deeply worrying.
It had developed gaping cracks on the walls and he warned that if left unattended, it could collapse.
He was speaking when the Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, accompanied by his Deputy, Madam Elizabeth Agyemang, visited the facility as part of his tour of security installations in the region to learn at first hand the challenges and how to tackle these.
DDP Tagoe also complained about the severe congestion at the prison and said the situation needed to radically change to enable the prisoners to live in some human dignity.
The facility built to hold 800 people is now accommodating 1,732 inmates.
He said they needed more space to carry out the task of reforming and equipping the convicts with vocational skills and trades that would enable them to lead normal lives after serving out their sentence.
At the Regional Immigration Office, Mr. Smart Osei-Bonsu, the Regional Head, complained about inadequate office space and logistics including vehicles.
They had been forced to share offices with other institutions, something he said was unhelpful to the kind of job they had been doing – keeping confidential information.
For the entire region, the service has only four vehicles – three in Kumasi and one in Obuasi. Added to these are two motorbikes – one each for the Konongo and the Manso-Nkwanta offices.
Mr. Kwasi Ahiakpor, the Regional Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), pleaded for the refurbishment of their office building and supply of vehicles.
He informed the Minister that many of their vehicles were aged and could not be used to chase smugglers, who often drove in powerful automobiles.
Mr. Osei-Mensah applauded the officers and men of the security agencies for the good job they were doing to keep everybody safe.
He promised to take up their concerns with the appropriate authorities for action.