US COAST GUARD PAYS COURTESY CALL TO TRANSPORT MINISTER
20th April,2022. Ministry of Transport and Aviation Conference room,7th Floor Youyi Building
The United States Coast Guard representatives today Wednesday 20th April,2022 paid courtesy call to the Minister of Transport and Aviation on Sierra Leone Maritime security search and rescue and law enforcement service at sea.
Declaring the purpose of the visit, LCDR James Cepa, Liaison for the United States Coast Guard (USCG) International Port Security Program said that the visit was to inform the Minister and the Management of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration that the United States Coast Guard International Port Security Team is in Sierra Leone to do an assessment of the Maritime security search and rescue and law enforcement in the country.
He maintained that Sierra Leone as a nation has made several international commitments to improve safety at sea from 2018, adding that the outbreak of Covid-19 stalled the operations of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) International Port Security Program in Sierra Leone.
‘’Your predecessor told me how much improvement the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration has made in terms of safety and security at sea for seafarers and passengers ‘’ LCDR James Cepa noted.
He said that the United States Coast Guard International Port Security is dedicated to supporting nations that show a commitment to improving their port security, he added that Sierra Leone is not an exception.
James Cepa further said that the team is in the country to do an assessment of the port security to see how much improvements the country has made in the Maritime industry, he noted that at the end of the assessment the team would present a comprehensive report with concerns and recommendations on the status of the Country’s port security to the Minister.
In his response, the Minister of Transport and Aviation Kabineh Kalloh thanked the United States Coast Guard delegation for the courtesy call visit, adding that their continued supports and previous assessment of the Country’s Maritime security search and rescue service could not be overemphasized.
He assured the delegation of Government’s commitment in ensuring a safe maritime security search and rescue, noting that based on internal assessment undertaken by the Ministry and the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration the previous recommendations were improved on.
‘’ We don’t want to be in that category where ships aren’t allowed to come to Sierra Leone because of security reasons, that is why as a responsible Ministry, we have taken all punitive measures to ensure a safe maritime security search and rescue in the Country ocean’’. Minister Kalloh noted.
He called on the delegation to be professional while executing their duties and report any issues or clarifications to the Ministry.
In his remarks, the Acting Director of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration, Sama Ghamanga expressed thanks and appreciation to the delegation for the visit, adding that their visit was a continuation of several engagements geared towards ensuring a safe maritime security search and rescue in the country.
He assured the delegation of his administration’s commitment in ensuring a safe maritime security search and rescue along the coast, and stressed that security at sea is a transnational issue, noting that as a nation, they are concern about the image of the country.
‘’I am sure you will not be disappointed with what you will see at the maritime industry in the country”. Director Ghamanga said.