The Security apparatus of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has rolled out several measures aimed at augmenting its capacity to properly protect and safeguard the port of Tema which is a major national economic asset.
Speaking on Eye on Port, the Deputy Security Manager in charge of Operations at the Port of Tema, Samuel Adjetey said, in consonance with key stakeholders, his outfit is continually adopting improved methods towards maintaining vigilance at the Ports.
He said the strong collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service has led to the formulation of a draft contingency plan to address issues of potential mass migration via the seaports and other entry points of the country.
He said this draft plan has been implemented in a simulation exercise at the Tema Port and following the exercise, it would be improved to bridge some few gaps identified.
“It is very good and timely that there is now a contingency plan in place to add up to existing methods, so when anything like that comes up, we are fully prepared,” Mr. Adjetey said.
According to the Deputy Port Security Manager, his outfit has been ensuring that people doing business in the port have been issued permits and are strictly monitored over the period of their stay in the port.
According to him, GPHA is keen on abiding by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code and has put in place measures that ensure that security at Ghana’s ports is at an optimal level.
He also revealed that CCTV cameras and illumination systems have been deployed all over the port environment and this is being expanded to cover a few blind spots.
Samuel Adjetey indicated that with the lead of customs, GPHA’s security also ensures that illegalities or crime do not take place during the clearance of goods from the ports.
“Customs dictate the pace in cargo clearance so before we clear cargo, we seek clearance from customs else we would not clear it,” the Deputy Port Security Manager disclosed.
He said GPHA’s security also provides intelligence to management to guide some of the decisions made in the port environment.
In addition to this, he stated that GPHA’s security personnel are deployed at various facilities of stakeholders operating in the port environment to offer protection.
He said a GPHA-led inter-agency security organization ensures that slums that could spring up around the port enclave are demolished so as not to breed criminals within the area.
“Slums are haven for criminals and we know that is where they plan from before attacking. So once a while we look within the enclave and when we see slums coming up, we conduct an operation to disengage them.”
The Deputy Port Security Manager, however, lamented some few challenges that continue to persist including minor pilfering and the sporadic incidence of cargo documentation fraud, which his outfit is seriously clamping down on.
Samuel Adjetey also advised port users to be road conscious when using the port areas and desist from irresponsible driving for the safety of themselves and others.