Flex-fighter boats to make Ghana’s maritime space safer and unattractive to illegal activities.
The Ghana Navy has taken delivery of four new fighter vessels acquired for the enhancement of its capacity to protect the country’s maritime domain, including offshore oil and gas installations.
The vessels – Ghana Navy Ships (GNSs) Volta, Densu, Pra and Ankobra, which arrived on board a merchant vessel, MV BBC Nile in the early hours of last saturday are currently at the quayside of Takoradi port.
The purpose of the acquisition of the flex-fighter boats is to boost efforts to make Ghana’s maritime space safer, unattractive to pirates and other illegal activities.
It also forms part of government’s agenda to equip the Ghana navy to provide security for offshore installations and other national assets.
The lack of such a fleet compelled oil companies to hire private boats to provide security for their offshore oil and gas installations.
Daily Graphic’s sources at the Ministry of Defence, in an interview, said henceforth, only Ghana navy ships would be allowed to protect offshore oil and gas activities in the country. He also described as unfortunate the current arrangement where oil companies hired civilian commercial boats flying their countries’ flags, with state-armed guards.
The ministry said the acquisition of the new vessels will make the practice a thing of the past.
There have been growing piracy and other criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea in recent times. The Ghana Navy has been conducting maritime exercises to demonstrate its resolve to deal with issues of piracy, illegal fishing, smuggling and other criminal activities in Ghana’s territorial waters.
Daily Graphic reports that when it visited the Port of Takoradi, the four vessels were still fastened to the ship deck.
After the offload, the vessels will be ushered into the Home Port of the Western Naval Command, where the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will name and commission them to begin service.