Port facility security officers in West, Central Africa undergo capacity-building on Port security

Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) from more than 15 ports in West and Central Africa have undergone capacity-building on Port Security.

The five-day regional ‘Train-the-Trainers’course, which ended on Friday in Accra equipped the officers to train their colleagues for improved security in the maritime domain.

It is an European Union (EU)-funded ‘Enhanced Maritime Action (EnMAR) in the Gulf of Guinea’ project implemented by Expertise France in collaboration with the Port Management Association for West and Central Africa (PMAWCA).

The objective is to strengthen capacities of PFSOs in the set-up and organisation of specific training courses for port security personnel along the guidelines of section 18.2 of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

e purpose of the Code is to provide a standardised, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling Governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities through determination of appropriate security levels and corresponding security measures.

During the closing ceremony, Mr Jonas Claes, Deputy Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Ghana, said Port security was an important and strategic topic in view of its potential linkages with global trade, organised crime and security.

He said having the most modern equipment, best protocols and manuals would amount to little without professionalism and know-how of security officers in charge.

‘That is why the theoretical and practical aspects of this week’s training are so important in making a real difference.’

He thanked participants for availing themselves and urged them to maintain the connections made for exchange of best practices.

Madam Marie Gibrat, Programme Manager of Enhanced Maritime Action in the Gul
f of Guinea (EnMAR) Project at Expertise France, thanked the EU for funding the training and their continuous support to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, through their various initiatives in the region.

‘I also thank our hosts, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for their excellent

support. Thank you to the participants for their curiosity, their commitment, and thirst for sharing their experiences.’

She said recommendations developed during the training would be transmitted to the PMAWCA along with those from previous regional training sessions organised by the EnMAR Project.

Madam Gibrat said the training was the last of a series of four regional sessions for port stakeholders of West and Central Africa.

‘The EnMAR project enhances maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea through promoting political dialogue, improving the coherence of EU initiatives, raising awareness of EU action, and strengthening the operational capacities of national and regional institutional partners.’

This training has been organised as part of this last objective of ensuring a long-lasting impact through the development of internal capacity-building on port security,’ she said.

Captain James R. Quayson, General Manager Special Duty at GPHA, Headquarters, said security was paramount at the ports because without it, they could not exist and operate effectively.

He urged participants to utilise the knowledge gained and enhance security at the ports in their countries.

The Captain lauded the EU for the training, saying:’We appreciate whatever you’re doing in the domain, as such, we assure you that Ghana is home for training, security and anything you have to offer with regard to the maritime domain.’

‘There are a lot of activities happening in the domain which needs a big brother like the EU to help us minimise the negative impacts of such activities,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Assin Praso gets GHS93,000 water system

The Chiefs and Residents of Assin Praso in the Assin North District collectively exhaled with relief on Thursday after the commissioning of a GHS93,000 mechanised water system to provide the community and its environs with potable water.

The community had endured close to a decade of water scarcity due to unauthorised mining activities, compelling locals to travel long distances in search of water.

The four mechanised water systems were generously provided by Compassion International, a child advocacy organisation and J.A. Adotey Child Development Center Ghana of the Apostolic Church.

The facilities consisted of four standpipes, as well as two poly tanks with a storage capacity of 10,000 litres valued at GHS93,000.00.

The visibly elated residents danced to traditional music performed by a local cultural ensemble as they profusely praised their benefactors.

The residents previously relied on the now-dried-up well or purchased water sachets for domestic use particularly during the dry season.

A community
member, Madam Sandra Otabil, told the Ghana News Agency that they had been dependent on the wells since 2015.

Nana Owodo Aseku X, the Chief of Assin Praso, praised the non-governmental organisations for their invaluable contributions to community development.

The initiative, he noted will ease the burden on women and school children, who previously had to search for drinkable water for consumption and household chores and pledged to help maintain the facility to prolong its lifespan.

Mr. Ademan Kwaku Teye Stephen, the Project Director for J.A. Adotey Child Development Centre, urged the beneficiaries to take ownership of the project and to ensure their sustainability.

Access to clean water and sanitation facilities, he pointed out, reduced the prevalence of water-borne diseases and enhanced health outcomes, and improved the overall well-being of the people.

He stressed the significance of regular maintenance to ensure the longevity and efficiency of the new facility.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Lagos ready to partner Jospong Group – Association of Waste Managers

The Lagos State Waste Managers Association of Nigeria (AWAMN) has expressed its readiness to partner with the Jospong Group to improve waste management in Lagos.

According to the managers, the efficiency with which the Group is managing Ghana’s waste is commendable.

They made the expression after touring the Pantang Waste Transfer Station, Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP) and JA Plantpool, all belonging to the Jospong Group in Accra.

Addressing the media after the tour, the National President of the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, Olugbenga Adebola, said ‘Lagos is ready for the partnership: We are doing something in Lagos but we’re ready for improvement and there is room for cross border investment, Lagos is ready.’

He added that the recycling plant is a ‘wonderful investment and very impressive.’

‘With a facility like this, Nigeria can be assured of reducing the effect of climate change, improving efficient and effective of waste management of the country,’ he stressed.

He commended
Jospong for its value addition to waste by processing compost and plastic pellets from the waste.

‘Waste is not waste until you waste it and what is happening here is not wastage but adding value to waste and this is impressive,’ he noted.

The Plant Manager -ACARP, Mr. Malik Makik Ganyo, explained the operations of the recycling machines to the visiting delegation from Lagos State and how it is adding value to waste being collected.

‘I am confident that this can be replicated in any part of Africa to give credence to the statement that indeed waste is a resource in the circular economy,’ he stated.

The visit by the Waste Managers is a follow up to an earlier visit by the Lagos State House of Assembly following the signing of MoU between Jospong Group and Lagos State Federal Government earlier in the year.

The Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP) is a cutting-edge facility located in Accra, Ghana, with a daily capacity of 2,000 metric tons.

Executed by the Jospong Group, ACARP plays a vital role in
managing municipal solid waste in the region. The plant sorts and processes waste to produce high-quality organic compost for agricultural use.

Since its expansion, ACARP has significantly enhanced its capacity to bridge the existing gap of untreated solid waste in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA).

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akatsi ECG meets artisans, calls for collaboration

Management team members from the Akatsi District office of the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG) in the Volta Region have engaged some artisans within the municipality on electricity-related activities.

The engagement with the artisans, most of whom are electricians, was to educate and alert them on how to deal with activities relating to electricity and ECG as a company.

The team, led by Mr Samuel Diasempah, District Manager, Akatsi ECG, took participants through some illegal and unacceptable practices by some individuals in society against the Company.

He cited illegal connections, unauthorised reconnection of disconnected customers, unauthorized fixing of streetlights, interconnections, fixing of unapproved meters, and others.

These, Mr Diasempah said, were affecting the operations of the company, urging all to adhere strictly to the guidelines and requirements for a reliable supply and economic growth.

He explained that the encounter was an important one, aimed at fostering collaboration

d a good rapport with artisans for effective service delivery.

Mr Diasempah further appealed to electricians to desist from misinforming ECG customers on issues they were not privy to.

‘Our doors are opened for clarification and education on our activities. So do not act as PRO for ECG. Tell our customers to do the right thing,’ he added.

Engineer Eric Agbolete, the District Engineer, on his part, appealed to participants to desist from accessing ECG structures without any consent such as climbing of poles, fixing blown-out fuses, and others.

The interactive session also saw questions emerging from participants on issues affecting ECG customers such as overbilling and others that were properly addressed by the team.

Master Atsu Tumaku, Chairman of ‘Akatsi Artisans Association’ expressed appreciation to ECG and its members for the meeting.

He called for constant engagement between the two bodies for the growth of the area.

Akatsi ECG, in recent times, has commenced engaging community members, artisans,
and others in their operations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Use of NIB for NPP running mate survey abuse of office – Okudzeto Ablakwa

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, says Government’s use of the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) to conduct a survey on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) running mate ‘race’ is an abuse of office.

‘This is an Organisation run with our taxes, all Ghanaians, not only NPP members. If they want to conduct a poll on who best should be the running mate of an NPP candidate, there are so many organisations in this country, academics in the universities.

‘Go and engage them with your party money, dues from your members. Don’t use our Organisation, a State Organisation run with our taxes. This is abuse of office,’ he said.

Mr Ablakwa expressed the displeasure on Saturday during a discussion on an Accra-based television programme.

He questioned why the survey was not also conducted for the National Democratic Congress Presidential Candidate and other parties, but only the NPP.

‘In this case, so where is the poll that they did to support the NDC Presidential Candidate, the CPP Pres
idential Candidate, the aspiring PNC Presidential Candidate? Let’s stop this abuse of office.

‘Serious money is given to this Body and you go about conducting NPP polls with my taxpayer’s money? How do they expect NDC members to feel? Neutrals to feel? With our taxes. That’s what they are doing with our taxes.’

The NIB survey indicated that Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Energy Minister, is widely preferred among party members to be the Running Mate to Dr Bawumia.

Dr Bawumia is yet to announce his Running Mate for the 2024 General Election scheduled for December 7, 2024.

The NIB Report, which sampled the views of 5,116 NPP delegates nationwide, including national, regional, constituency, and polling station executives, said 76.2 per cent of respondents preferred Dr Prempeh as Dr Bawumia’s Running Mate.

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, garnered 10.16 per cent of the responses.

Other candidates that made the list include Apostle Opoku Onyinah, former Chairman of the Pentecost Church-Ghana, a
nd Bryan Acheampong, the Minister of Agriculture and MP for Abetifi Constituency.

The MP said in the coming days, he was going to invite the National Security Minister to Parliament to explain the issue and talk about how he was safeguarding Ghana’s security.

‘Look, all the reports I have seen as a Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, we ought to be worried. What is happening along the borders? Are you aware that all our neighbours have been hit with terrorism? All of them, not one.’

‘Togo was with us in the exclusive minority group of countries that have not been hit. They have been hit recently. We have been asked to provide more resources to the security agencies. And this is what they are doing with the resources that we are providing for them.’

Mr Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, Member of Parliament for Sekondi Constituency, said the survey was unwarranted because it created an impression that Dr Bawumia was being pressured to make a decision.

‘I think we should leave him. He’s been in the ro
le for eight years. He’s been in politics actively for 16 years. He knows what he wants. And so to make it look as if he’s being pressured, or that what the party grassroots necessarily is saying is what he has to go with, I don’t think it’s fair.’

Mr Mercer, also the Minister of Tourism, said choosing a running mate required a lot of consultations before finally putting out a name, hence the delay from Dr Dawumia.

‘Yes, you have the prerogative to choose. But you operate within a system. And so it is important that you bring everybody along.

And so that bringing everybody along would require some consultations. I’m sure that that’s exactly what the Vice President is going to do now.’

Meanwhile, Mr Palgrave Boakye Danquah, Government’s Spokesperson on Security and Governance, reportedly said the NIB Survey was not authorised by the Government.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Security agencies organise ‘kwemo ojogban’ simulation at Tema Port

State security agencies operating at the Tema Port have organised a simulation exercise, dubbed ‘kwemo ojogban’ as part of the fulfilment of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).

The ISPS code requires member ports to partake in quarterly drills and annual exercises to maintain alertness and combat readiness as part of a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities.

The ‘kwemo ojogban’ (a Ga statement meaning be careful) exercise saw the combined forces of security personnel, including Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA) Security, Ghana Navy, Marine Police, and Ghana Immigration Service, among others, quell four volatile scenarios with relative efficiency.

The exercise, which was only known to a few top officials, featured four scenarios: an uprising at the transit terminal, demonstrators breaching the eastern gate, pirates infiltrating through the fishing area, and the army deactivating an explosive at the central gate.

Captain Bramwell
Tawiah, the Incident Commander and Harbour Master at the Tema Port, rated the performance of the combined forces at 85 percent efficiency.

He said the response from the various security agencies was superb

‘Even within our medical team and the fire and safety, how they responded to the calls, everything was on course,’ Capt Tawiah said.

Colonel Benjamin Boamah, the Tema Port Security Manager, expressed impressive interoperability between his outfit and the other security agencies.

He said the cooperation was very good, noting that it exceeded his expectations, as everything went well from the word go.

He added that ‘even at the pre-coordinating conferences we had, there was full participation from all parties; therefore, by the time we came in, we were all prepared and knew what was expected of us. When we started, the cooperation and enthusiasm were there, which is why the exercise ended very well and was very successful.’

Source: Ghana News Agency