The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has inaugurated three new tugboats as part of its strategies to attract larger vessels and enhance the turnaround time of vessels at the Port of Tema.
The state-of-the-art ASD tugboats, which are the first of their kind in Central and West Africa, have 80 tonnes bollard pull capacity and are capable of performing fire-fighting and rescue functions.
The boats were named after Commander K.T. Dovlo; Ben Owusu-Mensah; and Josephine Asante – who have exhibited exemplary character and contributed immensely to development of the organisation and country at large.
Commander K.T. Dovlo and Ben Owusu-Mensah both served as Director Generals of GPHA, from 1994 to 1998 and from 2001 for 2008 respectively.
The late Josephine Asante, at the time she passed-on, was the Marketing and Public Affairs Manager for Tema Port.
The Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje, during the ceremony said the boats were commissioned to enhance GPHA’s capacity to receive modern container vessels and bulk carriers.
“Over the years, we’ve had different capacities of marine craft. The biggest we ever had was 60 tonnes; but these are 80 tonnes bollard pull capacity craft, and with these we can handle up to even 20,000 TEUs container vessels,” he said.
The DG of GPHA expressed pleasure in being at the helm of affairs during the honouring of three former illustrious staff-members of the Authority, who he had the opportunity of working closely with.
“I had opportunity to experience the two former DG’s at very close range; and in experiencing one of the DGs who I worked closely with, I had the opportunity to work within close range of the third personality. We say congratulations! It is truly an honour.”
He also charged the Marine Operations of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to do their utmost to handle the tugboats for them to last longer and harness their potentials and capacities to enable growth of port business.
Chairman of the Board of Directors-GPHA, Peter Mac-Manu, said Ghana Ports account for 80% of Ghana’s trade; and as part of its capacity development strategies, the Tema and Takoradi ports have embarked on major expansions project to continue serving cross-sections of the Ghanaian market and beyond.
“These tugboats are expected to enhance the Authority’s revenue position. They are also expected to assist ensure the Authority’s safe daily operations, as well as enhance the turnaround time of vessels calling at the port,” he stated.
He also touted some significant functions the tugboats the tugboats will be performing.
“It is instructive to note that in line with the MARPOL Convention, the vessels have the capacity to arrest pollution before it spreads to other areas of concern. Stakeholders will indeed find these facilities very useful,” he revealed.
The distinguished individuals who were honoured and their representatives commended the management and staff of GPHA for appreciating and immortalising their efforts.
“My family and I are very much delighted with the honour,” Commander T.K. Dovlo said.
GPHA partners Port Health to sensitise fisher-folk on coronavirus
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, in collaboration with the Port Health Unit of the Ghana Health Service, has embarked on a sensitisation drive within the port community to educate stakeholders on the new coronavirus emerging from the Far East, with special focus on its prevention.
The coronavirus, which has been declared as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation, originates from Wuhan, China – and has brought significant concern among players in the shipping and maritime industry, considering the major role China plays in international commerce and migration.
Ports across the world have been identified as potential conduits for spread of the coronavirus, and Ghana’s health authorities have resolved to ensure the country prevents any form of the disease’s spread.
Thus, the sensitisation drive is channelling all the needed cooperation from stakeholders of the port, including port operators, shipping lines, clearing agents, security officials, importers and exporters of goods, ship suppliers, among many others to ensure the disease does not make it through Ghana’s ports.
The team of health experts visited the Tema Fishing Harbour where they educated management and staff; and later proceeded to the Tema Fishing harbour canoe basin and Tema Fish market to sensitise fishermen and fishmongers – some of whom had come into direct contact with Chinese sailors.
They were guided on precautionary measures against coronavirus infection, including good hygiene practices.
Director of Port Health, Raphael John Marfo, cautioned workers to avoid going aboard vessels without permission of the Port Health authorities, who have to conduct mandatory health checks to declare the vessel safe.
“Any vessel coming from China, we are expected to go through all the necessary screenings by WHO,” he alerted.
According to the Head of Medical Services at Tema Port, Dr. Vitus Anaab-Bisi, the exercise is very necessary due to the high level of business interactions Ghanaians have with Chinese counterparts, and encouraged port users and the general public to take precautionary measures very seriously to ensure that no Ghanaian gets infected with the virus.
“We want to appeal for you to just follow the instructions given you, and try to give us a feedback,” he urged.
The Chief Fisherman of Tema, Nii Adjetey Mator, commended the initiative but called for improved sanitation at the Tema Fishing Harbour to avert all forms of disease.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney-failure and even death.
Meanwhile, the Tema General Hospital and Ridge Hospital in Accra have been announced as the case-management centres.
The educational campaign will be ongoing in other places around the port community and beyond till the coronavirus is brought under total control.
Borderless holds annual general meeting
The Ghana chapter of Borderless Alliance has held its Annual General Meeting to take stock of the activities in 2019, and highlight activities for the year 2020.
The Borderless Alliance has been championing the drive for improved regional economic integration and free movement of goods within the West African sub-region by various advocacy initiatives.
A national forum was held in 2019 on harnessing the African Continental Free Trade Area’s full benefits as well as those of the Ecowas Trade Liberalisation Scheme – which the Borderless Alliance Ghana says it will continue working with so as to ensure implementation of these regional policies is optimised.
The President of Borderless Alliance Ghana, Ziad Hamoui, said his outfit is committed to continue collaborating with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Ghana Shippers’ Authority to ensure impediments to trade facilitation along the Ghanaian corridor are eliminated.
“We are working on operationalisation of the West African online platform, which is operated by Ghana Shippers’ Authority to support economic operators and drivers who are using the corridors and who are facing problems with checkpoints – including illegal charges – and resolve these issues for them,” he revealed.
He added that in 2020, Borderless Ghana will focus its attention beyond the Tema-Paga corridor toward the Elubo and Aflao corridors, and bring to light the activities ongoing there.
“We also want to increase the visibility of activities across not only the Tema-Paga Northern corridor but also the East, West corridor – that is, Elubo, Aflao – to highlight some of the activities that are taking place over there.”
He revealed that the 2020 Regional Conference for Borderless Alliance will be hosted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
GOIL ends ‘Efie-ne-fie’ promo, rewards 2,560 customers
GOIL has ended its Efie-ne-fie promotion by rewarding 780 additional customers who received free fuel ranging from 300 to 1000 Ghana cedis in value. This brings the total number of beneficiaries who enjoyed from the Efie-ne-fie promotion to 2,560 customers who purchased from GOIL’s 400+ service stations countrywide.
During the promotion, thousands of customers received instants rewards of GOIL souvenirs.
The beneficiaries of the come from diverse backgrounds across Ghana, and they include, commercial taxi and trotro drivers, private vehicles, as well as truckers and motorcyclists, demonstrating the all-encompassing nature of the promotion.
In a ceremony at Cape Coast to officially reopen one of its rehabilitated service stations, Board Chairman of GOIL, Kwamena Bartels, urged Ghanaians to continue patronising GOIL products, as all monies will be ploughed back into the country’s development.
“I appeal that you spread the message of when you buy from GOIL, you’re not only buying quality products but also helping to keep money in this country,” he said.
He revealed that GOIL, within its plans for 2020, will refurbish its service stations to modernise them and give customers the best service delivery.
The Group CEO and MD of GOIL, Kwame Osei Prempeh, said GOIL conducts its activities with Ghanaians at heart; and according to him, buying from GOIL is another way of promoting Ghana’s security.
The Central Region Minister, Kwamena Duncan, praised GOIL’s efforts and urged the indigenous oil marketing company to continue promoting national development.