Vice-President has assured the Ghana Navy that government will continue to protect the country’s offshore assets, fishing industry and external trade by investing heavily in both material and human resources.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said even as threats to fishing in the Gulf of Guinea continue to exist, government will prioritise efforts at protecting citizens.
Delivering the keynote speech at the third edition of the Coastal and Maritime Surveillance Africa conference at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday, the vice president added that oil discoveries and several mobile drilling activities ongoing offshore make Ghana’s maritime domain “a critical national asset” with its attendant vulnerabilities.
Ghana has remained an island of peace in the turbulent Gulf of Guinea where piracy incidents are reported to be the highest in the world.
“We are committed to helping out our neighbours to achieve similar levels of stability because whatever happens in the region has a rippling effect on other countries,” he stated.
He promised government’s commitment to invest in the Ghana Navy to be able to neutralise the emerging threats.
According to the former deputy central bank governor, in charting a course to protect offshore resources, it was important that the nation gets the best both in terms of effectiveness and cost.
The vice president therefore, charged the service chiefs to work closely with their counterparts in the region to access products and solutions they will need to counter the emerging threats posed by unscrupulous local, regional, and multinational organisations operating in the region.
Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, said the Ghana Navy was apprehensive about ongoing efforts to convince government to mortgage its maritime security to the private sector or mortgage it to a foreign government.
“We are of the conviction that the issue of sovereignty is at the core of our vital national interest and state institution must pave the way for safeguarding the nation’s interest,” he said.
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