The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has indicated that a lot of its successes in the provision of security at Ghana’s ports is owed to its investments in technology.
Speaking on Eye on Port, the Deputy Security Manager in charge of operations at the Port of Tema, Samuel Adjetey, revealed that the authority has invested in world-class surveillance and access control systems.
He stated that GPHA has in recent years embarked on a digitisation agenda, and the security department has been a core focus.
Mr. Adjetey said: “Our CCTV cameras have been upgraded, and we can boast of one of the best control rooms in the West African corridor. We have about 210 cameras covering the port and we still have about 90 on standby which we are assessing areas to deploy them. We deploy about 20 cameras at our new jetty alone.
“Our administrative areas also are fully monitored, and we deploy cameras that have facial identity recognition. Some of our staff also make use of body-worn cameras. We have also been trained in the use of drone equipment to enhance our surveillance methods”.
The Deputy Security Manager disclosed that such apt security has culminated in a reduction in the incidence of stowaway attempts through the port.
He said the vessel and port interface has been strengthened with respect to security.
The GPHA Security official revealed that in 2022, neither have stowaways been nabbed nor disembarked at the Port of Tema.
Similarly, in 2021, no attempts were recorded through the Port of Tema, even though 2 persons stowed away in other ports in Africa were disembarked at the Port of Tema.
In 2020, however, six stowaway attempts were foiled by the GPHA Security and 13 persons were disembarked at the port.
He also revealed that digitisation of the port systems has reduced frauds associated with cargo clearance.
Mr. Adjetey said before the paperless port system, the falsification of port clearance invoices by unscrupulous individuals and syndicates was rampant.
He said GPHA has ensured that measures have been put in place to make such acts almost impossible.
Samuel Adjetey also identified the staff strength of the security department as key to the authority’s successes in security.
He said GPHA’s security staff undergo basic military training at the Ghana Armed Forces, combined with several in-house capacity programmes intended to enable the security staff execute their assignments diligently.
The GPHA security official also acknowledged the strong collaboration his outfit has with other national security agencies in the overall security of the Ghana ports.
He said GPHA enjoys strong collaboration with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Marine Police, Ghana Immigration Service, National Investigation Bureau, Narcotics Control Commission, among others, for the smooth running of the maritime trade through Ghana’s ports.
The Deputy Security Manager at the Port of Tema, however, urged stakeholders to be security conscious in the shared responsibility of protecting themselves, cargoes and port facilities.
Mr. Adjetey said: “Anytime you spot abnormalities in the port – including suspicious persons and packages – please draw our attention. Also, for the concessionaires operating in the port, please make sure to use the best private security.”
“We also entreat stakeholders to embrace the digitisation drive and roll on initiatives such as the e-tolling and the Truck and Trailer Identification and Inspection policy at the port,” he added.