‘Let’s feature on Ghana Maritime Authority board’

peter IssakaThe Executives of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana on Friday paid a courtesy call on the management of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and called on stakeholders to support the authority with the logistics, in the regulation of the maritime industry.

Mr.Samson Awingobit, the executive secretary of the association urged Shipowners and Agents Association and other corporate bodies to support the authority to continue to “make our waters the best place for international trade.”

According to Mr Awingobit, the association regards the GMA, which is mandated to ensure safety on the country’s maritime domain, as strategic partner and decided to pay a courtesy call on the management to familarise themselves with operations of the authority and deepen cooperation with them.

While commending the management for its efforts in securing the country’s maritime domain, the association called on the government ‘to give it a slot’ on the board of the GMA to contribute to the strategic direction of the operations of the authority.

The Director General (DG) of the GMA, Peter Issaka Azuma said the authority had chalked some successes that made it “a model of success of maritime operations on the African continent, there is a lot to be done.”

He said the authority had engaged a team that was undertaking an audit of the country’s port facilities and other installation including the Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) at the Jubilee Field, with a view to ensuring that maritime operations meet international standards and requirements.

“We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that Ghana maintains a standard in its maritime operation and make our waters a safe and secured place for international trade,” he said.

Touching on some of the challenges, Mr Azuma said the authority was in dire need of Maritime Ambulance for rescue operations in the event of a disaster.

“The central government is stressed up, this is where industries should be able to support us to move the industry forward,” Mr Azuma said.

He said the differences in opinion between the authority and the Environmental Protection Agency over the Pollution Bill had been resolved and the bill was currently before Parliament for its consideration for passage to promote maritime governance.

Mr Azuma said because the authority was faced with logistic challenges, it had to rely on the support of Tullow, operators of the Jubilee Field, to conduct periodic inspections on the FPSO adding that it was not a best practice for an independent inspection.

The association was briefed on the Vessel Tracking Management Information System, state-of-the-art technology deployed to provide a clearer picture of vessel movement in the territorial waters of Ghana.

The Deputy Director (Environmental and Safety Standard) of the GMA and Coordinator of the Project, Captain Inusah Abdul-Nasir, stressed the need for vessel owners to keep in constant communication with the vessel tracking information centres to offer them the assistance that they would require on the sea.

Alpha Shaban, a member of the Ghana Union of Traders Association also expressed the need for constant interaction between the GMA and the private sector to promote international trade for the benefit of the country.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman   

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