Business News of 2014-04-10

Transport ministry to introduce Vessel traffic info system

The Ministry of Transport will soon launch a vessel traffic management information system (VTMIS) to provide a 24-hour electronic surveillance and monitoring of Ghana’s coastline.

The Transport Minister, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, who announced this, said the VTMIS would ensure the protection of Ghana’s maritime territories, offshore installations, oil terminals and gas pipelines and prevent unlawful activities at sea.

Mrs Attivor, who announced this at the opening ceremony of a three-day seminar organised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in Accra, also indicated that the VTMIS would ensure the provision of safe, secure and efficient traffic flow.

The three-day seminar brought together participants from some African countries, namely: The Gambia, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and Ghana.

It is being organised to enable participants to acquire the requisite knowledge on ships’ routing services, aids to navigation and the use of risk assessment techniques for shipping routes and navigational channels within West Africa.

Mrs Attivor noted that a better way to improve the safety of navigation on the shipping corridors in the midst of high traffic density was to create ships’ routing and vessel traffic services (SRVTS). According to her, the SRVTS will reduce the incidence of head-on encounters by the separation of opposing streams of traffic.

“I am actually hopeful that in the very near future, all countries in this West African sub-region will establish ships’ routing schemes and, thereby, comply fully and effectively with Regulation V/10 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention as amended,” she said.

The Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Peter Issaka Azuma, pledged the commitment of Ghana to collaborate with the IMO to promote awareness of the importance of implementing the organisation’s codes and instrument for the development of West Africa.

“I trust that at the end of the seminar, participants will go back to their countries equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills for implementing measures that will ensure safe and secure navigation within the wider West African sub-region,” he said.