The Ghana Navy added four new offshore security vessels to its fleet as it seeks to protect the people and industries operating in its exclusive economic zone.
Chief of Naval Staff Rear Adm. Issah Adam Yakubu received the Flex Fighter vessels during a ceremony at the Port of Takoradi on January 10, 2022. The 40-meter armored boats have space for more than 70 people and can carry 60 tons of cargo. The acquisition is part of a larger effort to protect offshore petroleum infrastructure from piracy.
“I can assure you that in the next few months, we are going to step up our surveillance and vigilance based on this capacity that we are building, and we are going to nip this canker [Gulf of Guinea crime] in the bud,” Yakubu told My Joy Online.
In recent years, private security guards have proliferated in the region to protect offshore oil and gas work. The Ghanaian newspaper the Daily Graphic reported that, beginning in 2022, only Ghana Navy ships will be allowed to protect these installations. Tullow Oil and its partners operating at the Jubilee Oil field off the coast of Ghana have signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Ghana Navy to provide security for oil infrastructure and personnel.
During the event, Commodore Samuel Walker, flag officer of Western Naval Command, said the boats will go a long way to improve the Ghana Navy’s ability to protect oil fields and provide revenue to the country, Ghana Peace Journal reported.
He congratulated the first Sailors chosen to staff the vessels and urged them to hold themselves to the highest levels of professionalism and to remain vigilant about vessel maintenance.