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Ghana Navy marks Golden Jubilee

navyThe Ghana Navy on Thursday launched its 50th anniversary celebration with a call on Ghanaians to collaborate with the Navy to identify new initiatives to enhance maritime security for socio-economic development.

The week-long celebration is to draw attention to challenges facing the navy in performing its core functions such as protecting the country’s territorial waters and available resources to fight drug and human trafficking and protect the recent oil and gas discovery.

It is under the theme “Enhancing Maritime Security for Socio-Economic Development”. Speaking at the launch, Nii Armah Ashittey Greater Accra Regional Minister noted that every aspect of life had serious security inclination= .. “In life everything is about security, what we wear, eat, drink bothers on security therefore, we have a duty to protect the resources from which= these needs are derived,” he said.

Nii Ashittey stressed the need to provide the Navy with the required= resources and logistics to enable it to protect the oil rigs and fish stock for the country’s socio-economic development. Rear Admiral Mathew Quarshie, Chief of Naval Staff, said the theme f= or the celebration was relevant in view of the oil discovery, drug trafficki= ng on the sea, illegal fishing, smuggling and piracy. He called on government to resource the navy to discharge its roles and responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

Rear Admiral Quarshie urged the navy personnel to develop the appropriate initiatives to address the emerging maritime challenges especially strategies to rid Ghana’s territorial waters of illegal activities and make it safe for socio-economic development. Rear Admiral Kelvin Dzang (Rtd), who chaired the launch, noted that inadequate resources for the navy were hampering its operations.

“The size of fleets has dwindled from 13 ships in the 1970’s to six ships and even ships on the current inventory are aged,” he said. Rear Admiral Dzang (rtd) said that the intention of Ghana’s First President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for ensuring a strong and formidable navy, nosedived after his overthrown yet the responsibilities of the navy= continued to increase.

“The ability to control and enforce maritime laws, peace and order, search and routine operations within the Ghanaian territorial waters were very critical,” he said.  Commodore Timothy Samuel Appiah, Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, said the sea was a fundamental factor in every country’s economic development. He said the sea covered about 70 per cent of the world surface and 90 per cent of trade between countries and communities were aided by the sea and more than 50,000 ships were in operation world-wide.

During an open forum, the participants called on the Judges to be conversant with maritime laws to enable them to deliver good judgment on maritime related cases.

Source: GBC NEWS

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