The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has commissioned two new Damen tugboats as part of efforts to fortify the efficiency of the Ports of Ghana.
The two heavy-duty tugboats, which can berth any post-Panamax vessel, were christened after two former Directors General of the Port Authority, namely Group Captain (Rtd) Edward Alexander A. Awuviri and Nestor Percy Galley.
They are expected to play a crucial role in ensuring the efficiency and safety of Ghana’s maritime activities and also contributing to the prosperity and progress of the nation.
Speaking at an impressive ceremony, a Deputy Minister of Transport Alhassan Tampuli, who represented the Minister of Transport, said with the expansion at Terminal 3 at the Port of Tema and ongoing initiatives to bring in some of the world’s largest merchant ships, it is useful to expand the port’s marine operational capabilities.
He said for Ghana to compete favourably in today’s maritime space, infrastructure and modern equipment must be provided, and that is what the government has set out to support and encourage since taking office.
“This occasion further demonstrates our commitment to fostering economic growth, ensuring maritime safety and positioning Ghana as a beacon of maritime excellence in the West African subregion. The government's commitment to port and maritime sectors in general is indeed is seen with the significant investment in infrastructure and service improvements across our ports.”
The Board Chairman of GPHA, Isaac Osei, said the commissioning of tugboats, coupled with the massive expansion works at the Port of Takoradi, lay credence to the premium the government places on the enhancement and improvement of infrastructure in the ports.
“in a world where Maritime safety is paramount, it is additionally vital to know that these tugboats have in-built firefighting apparatus to help in the mitigation of fire incidents, so by investing in these powerful and versatile tugboats, we are not only addressing the current needs of our ports, but we are also looking at the marine capabilities to accommodate the evolving demands of the shipping industry in the future.”
The Director-General of GPHA, Michael Luguje, paid glowing tributes to the two former Directors-General for the strength, resilience, and dedication to duty they exhibited during their tenure.
“Our two distinguished former DGs that we are honoring—I think we need one whole week to tell you the history. I can only say congratulations; we are proud of them for all the work they've done - Group Captain Awuviri for being the founding father of GPHA when three different state agencies have to merge into one. You can imagine. Even struggling with just one GPHA, it is not easy and somebody has to merge three distinguished organizations into one and get them to set up and work effectively. You can imagine the trouble he went through at that time as the head and all his team members who worked with him, so congratulations! We are very proud of you. God bless you for preparing the grounds. And to Mr. Galley, 32 years of serving the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority at various levels, not just in Ghana. He was the one Ghana chose to go and help Sierra Leone reform their ports,” the current GPHA boss said about his predecessors.
The honorees expressed their gratitude to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for recognizing their contribution to the port authority.