Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has reiterated government’s commitment to support the Ghana Navy and ensure maritime security.
He said due to the strategic importance of the maritime domain, government will continue to support the Navy and the other security agencies, to enhance their ability to protect the country’s resources.
He noted the surge in piracy and narcotics trafficking in recent years, citing the arrest of eight Nigerian pirates who hijacked the HT Mariam last month, the interception of the MT Attiyah, and the transportation of 414kg of cocaine to Ghana in 2013.
He said the Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS), installed by government along the coast last year, had improved the operations of the Navy..
“This system has greatly improved maritime domain awareness, and I am reliably informed that it played a significant role in your recent operation,” he said.
The Vice President was speaking as the guest of honour on at a mess dinner held by the Ghana Navy to reflect on their achievements and challenges in the past year, and to usher in the new year.
The Vice President gave the assurance that the Navy’s lack of a naval barracks, would soon be corrected, since the Volta River Authority has helped secure land for the construction of a naval barracks at Nchaban in the Western Region.
He said the construction of a modern office complex at Burma Camp was about 70 per cent complete
He also made known that work on the construction of a naval training command near Sogakope had started.
“I commend this initiative and assure the navy of government assistance to help you establish a naval presence near our eastern boundary,” he said.
He assured the Navy that the Armed Forces Council had also discussed their plans to acquire offshore patrol vessels with helipads, to improve their presence.
The Vice President commended the Navy on their recent solidarity visits to neighbouring countries, and expressed his gratitude to corporate organizations that continue to support the Ghana Navy.
The Ghana Navy was established in 1959 to protect Ghana’s territorial waters as the naval warfare arm of the Ghana Armed Forces.
It received an award as the best performing Navy in West Africa for the year 2013 by the Security Watch Africa Magazine.