As part of the Joint UN-Government of Liberia Rule of Law Programme, UNDP Liberia continues to provide capacity development support to the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS).
The Programme has supported several specialized trainings held at the Gbarnga Regional Security Hub in Bong County, aimed at transforming in-service immigration officers and shifting their statuses from apprentices to professionals.
Between April and July this year, over two hundred officers have received professional certificates after completing a series of trainings in disciplines and modules to include fundamental migration, human rights, professional conduct, drill development, gender, investigation, report-writing, exercises, as well as a course in the French language among others.
The new batch of over two hundred immigration officers will now form part of an improved security system as professional duty bearers.
The UN Joint Rule of Law Programme is supporting the government to complete the Security Sector Reform (SSR) provision that prioritizes retention and training of in-service officers, in order to help narrow the existing professional labor force gap confronting the effective operations of the LIS.
LIS Commissioner General Robert W. Budy Sr. has expressed gratitude to UNDP and its partners for mobilizing the funds needed to conduct the training exercises.
“This intervention is a key milestone in helping the government of Liberia through the LIS, to address the gaps related to professional human resource capacity within the immigration service,” stressed Budy.
Commissioner Budy urged the security officers to serve as ambassadors in the discharge of their professional duties as they return to their respective assignments.
Betty Behyee is an in-service immigration officer who has served for 15 years on various assignments across the country.
Now a professional officer after completing the training, Betty is excited and hopeful that her new role brings added benefits and value to the job, as well as her personal growth and development.
“I feel I am now a real immigration officer ready to work. This training will have a positive impact and influence on my performance as a professional immigration officer,” intimated Behyee.
The Deputy Comptroller for Training Jeffery Morris also reiterated that the results from the training will help to greatly address the professional manpower challenges facing the LIS in post-conflict Liberia and looks forward to more of such training opportunities.