The Fire and Safety Department of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority commits itself to ensure all its personnel are of the right standard of professionalism to execute their various assigned tasks in order to attain the goal of an incident free port and optimum safety. In order to sustain this vision, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has assigned a group of 10 fire officers of the organization, to undergo intensive 8 weeks training program to equip them with adequate skills for firefighting and safety. These new officers were successful in both the theoretical and practical examinations which covered a wide range of disciplines including pump operation, ladder use, water supply, firefighting, first aid application, etc.They were encouraged to embody all the core values of the Fire Service and Port Authority which are commitment, reliability, teamwork, bravery and discipline during their span of duty.
“I encourage you to embrace the values and ethics of the service which are also in line with the Authority’s core values which are commitment, reliability, team work, dedication, bravery, and discipline,” the Fire and Safety Manager of the Tema Port, Edward Hayman urged. The Director of Tema Port, Sandra Opoku expressed that these programs are intended to augment the staff strength and admonished the fire personnel to observe professionalism in their duties to be able to meet modern safety requirements.She praised the department for ensuring that the incident of fire and hazard concerns, have been drastically reduced in the past years.“We want to commend the management and staff of this department, Mr. Hayman and his team for upholding the standards and ensuring a drastic reduction of fire incidents in the port,” she expressed.
The Maritime and Dockworkers Union of the Trades Union Congress, has expressed its displeasure towards the Meridian Ports Services’ lack of concern to negotiations with the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, regarding solutions to the negative effects of the MPS Terminal 3 contract on Ghana’s Port Authority.According to the MDU a provision of the concession agreement, gives the Meridian Port Services exclusive rights to handle almost all containerized cargo in Tema Port, leaving the GPHA to handle only container vessels of less than 200 TEUs which is a rarity.This, according to the MDU will have severe revenue repercussions on the GPHA, who may be forced to offload a projected 1,400 of its workers, in order to survive. As a result, over the past few months, following a directive from the President Nana Akufo Addo, meetings have been organized to renegotiate the terms of the contract in order to make sure revenue and staff of GPHA are retained.Speaking at a press conference organized by the MDU, in collaboration with the TUC, the General Secretary of the Maritime and Dockworkers Union, Daniel Owusu Koranteng said, MPS has failed to corporate with what he described as GPHA’s modest demand of handling 20% of eligible container vessels that call the Tema Port.
The Ghana Shippers’ Authority in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute has organized the 12th edition of the Maritime Law Seminar, an annual program that seeks to update the knowledge of judges of the Superior Courts of Ghana on all maritime related issues.The topics discussed at the seminar covered two major areas namely ocean governance, and maritime trade with maritime security as a key subject.The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers' Authority, Benonita Bismarck said because the maritime trade contributes immensely to the national economic development of Ghana, it has become incumbent for a sound national legal system to compliment the thriving maritime sector.Revealing that the series has been modified from being an annual seminar to a biennial one, she said, it is the hope of the Shippers’ Authority that these efforts and more with make Ghana become the center of maritime adjudication in the sub-region.“All these activities in the maritime sub-sector need to be complemented by a strong and efficient judiciary. We have no doubt that this little contribution of ours in the training of the judiciary in maritime law will go a long way to ensuring a vibrant, prosperous and a stable maritime trade and transport sector for Ghana,” she said.
Gloria Akufo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, stated that automation, and policy directives in port processes and maritime issues are commendable towards transforming Ghana to attain its economic goals, however, expected socio-economic challenges that may result from this evolution would need to be addressed by a vibrant, credible, and efficient judiciary. “These positive maritime interventions and activities come with many socio-economic challenges. Where there is such a flurry of business activities, dispute is inevitable. There is the need for a vibrant, credible, effective and efficient judiciary that can deal with the complex disputes that may emerge as a result of the ever increasing maritime activities,” she stated.The Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said with the Government of Ghana committed to make the country attractive for international trade and investment, it is ready to support all interventions directed at safeguarding Ghana’s port and maritime industry which according to him would continue to serve as a strategic national asset for development.“Government will continue to work with the industry players to bring about efficiency to attract the needed investment and position Ghana as a preferred destination for business within the sub-region,” he added. Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Justice Sophia A.B Akufo, said maritime disputes are a very common phenomenon in history and will predictably remain so. She urged the various judges participating in the seminar to take full advantage to equip themselves towards the dispensation of justice in maritime matters.“Your lordships and ladyships stand to benefit immensely from these topics considering the rich academic and practical background of the selected resource persons.”