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Veep to African maritime authorities: Tighten security at ports

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia
Vice President - Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia has demanded that maritime authorities ensure the enforcement of the framework guiding shipping standards in the West African Region.

The Vice President noted that with an estimated 90 percent of African imports and exports conducted by sea transport, the issues of maritime safety and marine pollution has become a critical issue that calls for serious attention.

Speaking at an opening ceremony of Third Ministerial Conference of the Abuja MoU on Port State Control for West and Central African Countries, in Accra, the Vice President said security at the various port should be tightened so as to meet international standards.

“Tighten your net when carrying out port state control inspection in order to ensure that all ships that call to do business at our port are seaworthy and operate in accordance with standard and regulations,” he said.

A Ghanaian fishing vessel was reported to have been hijacked by some unknown persons believed to be pirates yesterday[Wednesday]

The Deputy Director of Environment and Safety Standards at the Ghana Maritime Authority, Captain Inusah Abdul-Nasir, who confirmed this on Eyewitness News, narrating the circumstances under which the vessel was hijacked, said the incident was reported to the Ghana Navy around 6:00 pm on Monday.

There were five persons on board the fishing vessel, but the abandoned vessel has been rescued by the Ghana Navy.

The five, including three Koreans, one Ghanaian and a Greek national, are believed to have been taken hostage by some alleged Nigerian hijackers, who attempted to seize the tuna vessel, Marine 711 on the Keta high seas on Monday.

Briefing the media at the Tema Port, the Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Commodore James Kontoh said although the Ghana Navy was taken unaware in this instance, they will intensify their surveillance to forestall any such occurrence.

“For the past 48 hours, we have had series of attacks which we tried to unravel. It all happened Monday dawn about 03:30 when a speedboat came to the Tema anchorage area and forcefully took over a vessel and started heading towards the Togolese waters until the vessel complained of not having enough fuel to continue the journey.”

By: Farida Yusif/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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