The Ghana Minister of Transport Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, In his welcome address at The 11th Port State Control Committee Meeting of Abuja MoU (11th PSCC), holding at Eko Hotels, Lagos Nigeria has said the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify the condition of the ship and its equipment and whether the ship is manned and operated in compliance with the requirements of international conventions/regulations to ensure maritime safety and security (lives and assets) and prevent pollution, is the whole essence of Port State Control (PSC). PSC inspections are intended to be a backup to flag State implementation, which overtime has proved extremely effective.
Hon. Asiamah who is the Vice Chairman of the 11th Port State Control Committee Meeting of Abuja MoU also said “the importance of Port State Control Officers, and the need for them to display high level of professionalism and skill cannot be over emphasized.”
“Bearing in mind that Port State Control Officers are ambassadors of the MoU, it is therefore important that they constantly undergo continuous trainings which would impact on their knowledge and skills, as well as on their overall standard of inspections at the Ports. However, this cannot be achieved without the commitment, financial and otherwise of every Member State.”
He reiterated that “It must be noted that the Abuja MoU is not tied to one Member State alone, it is a piece of each Member States here present. Therefore, we must all join forces and strive to ensure that we constantly uphold the ideals and objectives upon which the MoU was established. For this reason,
He therefore urges all Member States to play their part in contributing towards the growth of the Abuja MoU, so that to meet with expectations and safeguard members marine domains.
The Abuja MoU is the legal document under which countries of the region agreed to develop and implement a common mechanism for their respective port state control activities.
The main work of the MoU is the harmonisation of the port state control procedure and practices of all the countries in the region aimed at eliminating the operation of substandard shipping within the region thereby ensuring maritime safety, security, protection of the marine environment from pollution.
It also includes improving the working and living conditions of ship crew, and to facilitate regional cooperation and exchange of information among member States.
Countries whose port state control functions fall within the Abuja MoU include Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Cote d’ Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea and Equatorial Guinea.
Others are Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and Togo.
The Two days event is expected to end tomorrow 21st of October 20, 2021.