The four aluminium offshore vessels, christened Ghana Navy Ship Volta, Ghana Navy Ship Densu, Ghana Navy Ship Pra and Ghana Navy Ship Ankobra are to enable the Navy to provide dedicated security to the country’s offshore oil and gas installations.
At a ceremony on Friday at the Sekondi-Takoradi Naval Base in the Western Region, President Akufo-Addo said the acquisition of the vessels was a manifestation of the commitment of Government to retool and re-equip the Ghana Armed Forces to enable them to perform their duty of protecting the territorial integrity of Ghana.
He stated that with the increase in terrorism and violent extremism from the Sahel, and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, government was determined to spare no efforts to guarantee the nation’s territorial integrity and ensure the safety of Ghanaians.
The President noted that the provision of effective maritime security was of utmost importance because Ghana’s economy was highly dependent on offshore resources, which held enormous potentials for the country’s food security and employment generation efforts.
“Therefore, the Ghana Navy, as the lead maritime security agency, deserves all the support it needs to enable it carry out its duties efficiently and effectively,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that the Government was in the process of acquiring two more offshore patrol vessels with high endurance limits, to enable the Navy to maintain constant presence at sea.
He said the Government would also procure more patrol vessels to respond to the myriad of threats along Ghana’s coastline, stressing that “financing for the acquisition of these ships has been already provided for in the security sector retooling programme initiated by the Akufo-Addo Government.”
The President was hopeful that the four commissioned vessels would empower the Navy in collaboration with other services to protect Ghana’s maritime domain, “which will, in turn, serve as a boost for the fisheries and shipping sectors as well as for offshore oil and gas production.”
He reaffirmed his confidence and that of the nation in the competence, dedication and professionalism of the officers, men, women and civilian staff of the Ghana Armed Forces.
“Their loyalty to the Republic and to the maintenance of its constitutional order continues to be exemplary. I am glad to note, in particular, the achievements of the Navy in the fight against piracy, fuel smuggling and other maritime crimes,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo reassured the security services that his government would not waiver in its quest to empower the security and intelligence services.
“On your part, the Ghanaian people expect you to superintend over the judicious and productive use of these assets, so as to help secure the integrity, peace and stability of our nation,” he added.
The four “River Class” 40-meter vessels, named after some of Ghana’s famous rivers, were acquired through a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Defence, Israel Shipyards Ltd, Ghana Commercial Bank and two international oil companies.