Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul has observed that the current security atmosphere of the world makes it extremely imperative for nations to spend more on its security architecture to be better positioned in protecting citizens and territorial boundaries.
He, therefore, argued that government will have to, as a matter of necessity, accelerate the retooling of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) with state-of-the-art equipment that will enable them deal decisively with the ever-changing trend of crime both domestic and foreign.
“I will therefore urge Ghanaians to bear with the government when proposals are made on Armed Forces expenditure because it has become more pressing in today’s world.”
Dominic Nitiwul was speaking at the commissioning of four aluminum security vessels for the Ghana Navy at the Western Naval Command in Sekondi in the Western Region.
They each have 3 engines, 3 generators and 3 fixed-pitch propellers to allow for maneuverability and high speed.
The vessels have longer endurance than ships currently in the Navy’s fleet.
The river class vessels will, among many duties, help the country protect its oil and gas infrastructure. Two of them, while awaiting commissioning, were deployed to the oil fields and ably provided security to the fields for more than 30 days continuously.
He stressed that government’s continuous investment in the Ghana Armed Forces is in recognition of the importance of their role in defending the country against “land, air, sea and even cyber threats”.
“Plans to equip you with more state-of-the-art ships and other equipment are well advanced and the President will be returning soon to commission more ships for you.”
The four security vessels were acquired through Public Private Partnership between the Ministry of Defence, Israel Shipyard Ltd, Ghana Commercial Bank and International Oil Companies.
Eni Ghana Plc and Tullow Ghana Plc have signed a five-year contract with the Ministry of Defence and would be contributing more than $20 million each by the end of the contract period to pay for the vessels.
Managing Director of GCB Bank Plc Kofi Adomakoh stated that the financing is a testimony that indigenous solutions work when given the opportunity.
“Financing these vessels is yet another example of how deep local market knowledge and international best practice paired with our core mandate of supporting Ghana’s oil infrastructure development enables us forge partnerships in providing complex financing solutions which promotes long term and sustainable development.”
He believes that “this innovative structuring solutions deployed to this financing can serve as blueprint and launchpad for future collaborations between the Ghana Armed Forces, GCB Bank and other private-public institutions to raise funding to support projects that otherwise would have to be funded by government alone”.
The four vessels cost $40 million.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana