By Adedapo Adesanya
The Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, instructed the Port State Control Officers (PSCO) to demonstrate a high level of professionalism in the performance of their duties of inspecting foreign vessels in the national ports.
Mr. Amaechi said so in a statement signed by the ministry’s press and public relations director, Mr. Eric Ojiekwe.
He spoke at the 11th meeting of the Port State Control Committee (PSC) of the PSC MoU for the West and Central Africa region, also known as name of (Abuja MoU) in Lagos.
According to the Minister, the essence of the PSC is the inspection of ships, to check their condition, equipment and whether they are manned and operated in accordance with the requirements of international conventions and regulations.
He said he also aims to ensure maritime safety and the safety of life, property and pollution prevention.
Mr Amaechi, while referring to port officers as ambassadors of the MoU, said continuing education was needed to maintain the standards set at ports.
However, he called on member states to work together to achieve the goals set.
“Bearing in mind that port state control officers are ambassadors for the MoU, it is therefore important that they are constantly undergoing continuous training.
“This will have an impact on their knowledge and skills as well as their overall level of inspection in ports. However, this cannot be achieved without the commitment, financial and otherwise, of each Member State.
“We must all join forces and strive to ensure that we consistently uphold the ideals and goals upon which the MoU was established.
“For this reason, I urge all Member States to play their role in contributing to the growth of the Abuja MoU, so that we can consistently meet expectations and safeguard our marine domains,” he said. declared.
The Minister thanked Member States for ensuring that the Abuja MoU works well in the face of COVID-19 and urged them not to relax their commitments on inspections, training and contributions global.
“I have to thank most of our Member States for their performance and swift responses in declaring seafarers as key workers and providing their support to ensure that the impact of COVID-19 does not disrupt global shipping.
“Although it should be noted that the resulting effect of the pandemic slowed down the inspection of vessels, nevertheless, based on our 2020 report, the Abuja MoU performed relatively well in the inspection. ships that have called in our ports, ”he said.
For his part, the Ghanaian Minister of Transport and Chairman of the Abuja MoU, Mr. Kwaku Asiamah, said port state control acts as an important safety net to eliminate the exploitation of vessels. of inferior quality to ensure the necessary safety.
Mr. Asiamah said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, “our performance as flagship states has been very encouraging.”
He called on member states to prioritize the vaccination of seafarers, their departures and departures, especially in the repatriation process and to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
He said this would ensure the protection of PSCOs and the crew of ships visiting their ports.
Mr. Asiamah also instructed Member States to draw on the IMO Code of Good Practice for PSCOs and other relevant regulatory circulars and documents to conduct inspections under the regional MoU and l agreement on PSCs.
He urged them to ensure their PSCOs are empowered to conduct inspections safely and always aim to exceed the agreed minimum number of 15% of foreign ships calling at the country’s ports.
“States should also accept and endorse the IMO guidelines on cybersecurity as part of security management codes,” he said.
The Ghanaian minister also called on women to explore careers in PSC and other related fields, saying “women are great agents of change”.
He therefore instructed Member States to create channels for the participation of women as port state control agents.