The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has charged the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), two key agencies clothed with the responsibility of managing and regulating Ghana’s maritime domain, to collaborate and spearhead the development of new policies capable of resolving the safety issues on the country’s maritime domain.
The safety of Ghana’s maritime domain, he noted, is in the hands of the GMA and the GSA, further charging these two bodies to be proactive in dealing with the myriads of challenges currently confronting the maritime domain.
According to him, although there exists a number of policies or regulations that seek to protect Ghana’s maritime domain, they aren’t strong enough considering the development of new safety challenges.
Mr Asiamah stressed that safety challenges such as piracy, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, illegal bunkering, ship-to-ship transfers, drug trafficking, pollution, transnational crimes, smuggling, absence of regulation for inland waterways and unchartered navigational fare ways are critical issues that need immediate attention.
The situation, he noted, has a trigger effect on the cost of doing business in Ghana’s maritime domain and making it very expensive.
In pursuing the task, Mr Asiamah wants the GMA and the GSA to deepen its collaboration with the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with expertise in maritime issues, academia and organizations outside the country, in order to come out with a comprehensive policy framework to protect the country’s maritime domain.
“Our maritime domain today is not something we should not talk about; it is not something pleasant for ship owners, international trade and like you know, about 90% of the world trade is done through shipping and shipping is done through seas and our seas are not safe. Because if a shipowner is bringing his ship into the waters, the challenge is that insurance cost has to go up and the shipowner will definitely transfer this cost to the shipper which invariably, the shipper will also transfer the cost to the consumer. This needs immediate attention”, he noted.
Mr Asiamah made this observation in Accra last Friday, September 10, 2021, when he inaugurated the reconstituted Board of Directors of four key agencies under the Ministry of Transport namely; Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA).
The Board Chair of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Madam Stella Wilson, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors of GMA, GSA said “we are ready for the challenge and the task at hand. We have been entrusted with a responsibility and we’ve been called to action. We have noted with keen interest what the Minister has told us and we are going to take our responsibility very seriously and make sure that those projects that we have been tasked to undertake, we work on then”.
She entreated all the directors to work as a team, stressing that their cooperation with management will enable them to achieve success.
Source: Ministry of Transport