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Government urged to establish oil security fund

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Government has been urged to establish a financial support fund into which all commercial oil operators would contribute to fund a security master plan that would address their security concerns.

“Focused funding of the Navy and other security elements from this fund will enhance the capabilities of the Ghana Navy to address security concerns such as illegal bunkering, sabotage and armed robberies at sea,” said Real Admiral Mathew Quarshie, Chief of Naval Staff.

Addressing students of the Ghana Armed Forces at the Staff College on Tuesday, he called for periodic conferences between the Navy, the oil and gas companies and other maritime stakeholders to develop and pursue a common position on critical issues related to the oil industry.

Real Admiral Quarshie said Ghana was gaining notoriety for being a transit point for drugs from the Americas, Asia, the Far East and Europe and bemoaned the poor state of the Ghana Navy to perform its traditional duty of effective monitoring.

“Due to improvement at the nation’s Airport, drug traffickers were now resorting to travelling by sea, hoping to outwit drug enforcement agencies since there are so many landing points along the coastline for small crafts,” he added.

Real Admiral Quarshie said although oil and gas had the potential of accelerating industrialization and economic growth, it could also be the source of conflicts and other security concerns if there were difficulties in determining boundaries between littoral countries at sea.

He said it was pathetic that since the acquisition for two ex-US Coast Guard vessels in 2001, the Navy had not added anything to its naval assets adding that orders for ships’ spare parts placed since 2005 had not been paid for though some of the parts had been received.

He said the Commission for Fisheries was in the process of acquiring 46 metre boats from China for use by the Navy for fisheries protection. The programme was under the theme; “Ghana Navy @ 50 – Enhancing the Capacity and Capabilities of the Navy to Meet the Maritime Security Challenges of Ghana’s Oil Find”.

Source: GBC NEWS

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