The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has taken strict measures to protect property and cargo that land at its ports to safeguard the integrity of its services as well as assure clients of its ability to trade within them.
As part of the measures, GPHA has offered its newly recruited security personnel to vigorous military training to acquire the requisite skills and inculcate discipline in them to face the challenges ahead.
The Director-General of the GHPA Mr. Richard Anamoo announced last Friday when he addressed a gathering at a passing out parade of security personnel of the GHPA at the Army Recruit Training School (ARTS) at Shai Hills.
The personnel had completed seven weeks training in foot drill, physical training, unarmed combat, communication skills, general security duties, first aid, leadership training and fire prevention/fighting.
The Director-General stated that security plays major role in port activities as the GPHA is being restructured in consonance with the desired vision of becoming a maritime hub and the most efficient one-stop port services centre in the West African sub-Region.
He called for extra vigilance and alertness, adding that, that should be the ultimate and crucial goal on the part to the security personnel. “You need to be alert at all times to avoid being out smarted by criminals and thieves,” he said.
He indicated that ports and ships have been potential targets for criminals and now consideration also has to be given to the ships and their cargoes as potential terrorist weapons which call for grave concern and need to be tackled vigorously.
The Reviewing Officer at the Training School, Mr. J.K Adorkor said, there was the need to re-assess existing port security plans to address potential terrorist activities to rid the port of criminal activities for smooth operations.
He reminded them that, the port also provides services to local and landlocked neighbours of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, which is an added responsibility of being conscious of safeguarding goods in order to win confidence, which makes it the gateway to West Africa sub-Region.
?I need to stress that GPHA frowns on acts of stealing, aiding and abetting, fraud, habitual drunkenness, sleeping on duty, desertion of duty post, unauthorized press interviews. Your actions will be carefully monitored by superiors and management,? he said.
According to him, the training they had acquired was carefully scheduled to enable them function effectively as security guards for the Port Authorities.
According to him the security guards will be subjected to frequent training courses to upgrade their knowledge to handle their jobs with tact. He was full of gratitude to the military personnel who took the men through the training.
Outstanding personnel were given awards for excelling in various fields with Mr. George Afari emerging the best all round trainee. The recruits will be assigned to serve at different duty posts in the Port and its environs.