Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu has hinted an improved efficiency at the ports since the coming into force of a MoU signed by some West and Central African countries.
Kwame Owusu revealed that despite the challenges being faced with the full implementation of the programme, the gains attained so far compliments governments quest to enhance efficiency at the ports.
The Memorandum of Understanding dubbed the Abuja MoU on Port State Control for West and Central African Countries is an agreement among member states to ensure proper supervision and vet all vessels that use ports of member states.
In a brief remark at the 3rd Ministerial Conference of the Abuja MoU on Ports State Control in Accra, Kwame Owusu also touched on the essence of the agreement to maritime environment.
"It is worthy to note that under the MoU, ships that have been inspected in a member state will not be re-inspected at the next port of call within a certain time frame. Your Excellency, this in effect compliments your drive for port efficiency" he admitted.
"The essence of Port State Control is to ensure that our marine species are protected from contamination by pollution. It is also to ensure that ships that operate on our waters are safe to protect human life and property" he continued.
The event in Accra was graced by Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Member States, MPs and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Vice President Bawumia, in his address at the conference, urged member states to show more commitment to the implementation of the programme.
He stressed that it was unacceptable for such an agreement to experience long delays and urged participants to develop solutions that will curtail the challenges being faced now.
Transport Minister Kweku Ofori Asiamah, who was also present at the event emphasised the relevance of the MoU to the member states.
"These MoUs make it possible for Maritime Administrations within a region to consult, cooperate and exchange information pertaining to irregularities that may affect the safety of the ship or pose harm to lives and the environment" Kweku Asiama noted
He reiterated that "The Abuja MoU aims to ensure a system of harmonised Port State Contol inspection procedure for the region, targeted at the reduction and eventual elimination of substandard ships"