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28.05.2004 General News

Gov't to get loans for rehabilitation of Western Naval Command

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Sekondi May 28, GNA - The Government would negotiate for loans to assist in the rehabilitation and development of facilities at the Western Naval Command.

Rear-Admiral J. K. Gbenah, Chief of Naval Staff, announced this when addressing 2004 Administrative Inspection Parade of the Command in Sekondi on Friday.

He said the project would include the dredging of the harbour, repairing of the broken parts of the quay and other ancillary structures.

Rear-Admiral Gbenah said the slipway rehabilitation project and installation of test bench facilities have been authorised and would begin soon.

"It is my expectation that, on completion of these projects, the Naval Dockyard will be able to undertake most of the routine maintenance works required by our ships, which we now carry out at the Tema Shipyard at an exorbitant cost to the nation", he said.

Rear-Admiral Gbenah said construction of officers single quarters, the construction of four Junior Rates accommodation, the Flag Officer of the Command residence and the rehabilitation of Senior Rates accommodation were various projects that are in progress at the command.

Rear-Admiral Gbenah said although work on some of these projects have been slow due to financial difficulties, arrangements were being made for their completion.

He said all these measures were being taken by Government to ensure that the Ghana Navy discharged its responsibilities effectively and appealed to Naval personnel to work assiduously.

Rear-Admiral Gbenah said the performance of the Fleet in safeguarding the country's fishery resources during the past years have been commendable.

He said 2,278,065,500 cedis was released from fines from over 70 vessels and numerous canoes arrested in the last three years.

Rear-Admiral Gbenah said the Navy has over the years had to grapple with the problem of dwindling resources and this has adversely affected its equipment acquisition and operational ability.

He said this notwithstanding, the Navy have always ensured that ships remain operational most of the time to carry out their duties. Rear-Admiral Gbenah said the speed and professionalism with which naval personnel undertook the evacuation of Ghanaians from Monrovia, Liberia and from Malabo in Equatorial Guinea in recent times indicated the dedication and commitment of the Navy.