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Lack of boats is challenge to Maritime Authority patrol efforts

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Reverend D. Peter Issaka Azuma, the Director-General of Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), says lack of patrol boats to enforce safety at the sea on the Volta Lake is a major constraint to the authority.

He said the GMA, which has a mission of creating a harmonious and enabling environment within the maritime industry to ensure the provision of safe, secure and efficient shipping operations in the seas and inland waters of the country is becoming impracticable especially with the absence of patrol boats.

This, he, said is making surveillance duties of the Authority difficult.

Dr Azuma made the observation on Wednesday when Mr Fifi Kwetey, the Transport Minister, paid a formal working visit to the management and staff of the GMA in Accra.

He also mentioned the lack of office space and GMA’s huge expenditure on insurance as other constraints adding:  “Unfortunately too we do not have a sovereign guarantee.”

On the way forward, the Director-General of the GMA, noted that the installation and integration of underwater surveillance equipment into the Vessel Traffic Management Information System for the protection of subsea structures such as well drills would be some of the major works to be carried out by the GMA.

“Installing of booster boys between the Coast and Jubilee field and working with the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission to get better and efficient mechanisms to enhance safety navigation are also part of our goals to be achieved in the coming years,” he added.

Mr Fifi Kwetey urged the board and management of the GMA to work closely towards the practicable mandate of the authority.

He expressed happiness about the administrative and legislative mandate being achieved by the GMA for an all-inclusive working relationship between GMA and other public agencies.

“Together we are going to ensure maritime operations are going to be effective and work accurately.

“We need to work together to see and lead to take measures effectively,” he said.

Mr Kwetey noted that since shipping authorities have taken over the GMA, it is important that the provision of patrol boats is made available to the GMA to enhance and promote safety on the Volta Lake.

The GMA was established under Act 630 of 2002 and charged with the responsibility of monitoring, regulating and coordinating activities in the maritime industry.

Source: GNA

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