By Maimuna Sey-Jawo The Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority has stated that building the capacity of its staff to better enhance their performance in national development is top on his administration’s priority list. Lamin Sanyang speaking recently at the closing ceremony of a five-day capacity building training for 30 security personnel of GPA on international ship and port facility security. The training, according to him, was meant to train its officials on issues related to maritime security level and consequential requirement, recognition of characteristics and behavioral patterns of persons likely to threaten security, among host of others. “All of you are aware that the shipping port industry is evolving day in day out, and one of the most important components that is highly discussed in international workshop is maritime security,” he noted, urging the staff to ensure that the Ports Authority matches international standards. “We are dealing with international companies and that’s the shipping lines and ship owners. If our port is not secure our customers will not have the confidence to call the port of Banjul.” Ousman Jobarteh, deputy director, spoke at length on the significance of the training, adding that learning and development is a long time process, and no country can develop in the absence of education. “Therefore you as security officers being the first line of actors that interact with ports users and shipping companies you are the most important aspect in the operation cycle,” he stated. The training Mr. Jorbateh noted will equip the participants with the necessary skills to not only respond to situations but be able to perceive a threat and avert it even before it happens. “Whatever you see and it does not look normal to you take your time and be very diligent to go to the bottom of things and to deter whatever imminent danger it poses. As a port we achieve milestone because our neighboring countries like Senegal and Guinea Bissau take a study tour in Banjul Port to under study, how come a small port like Banjul is being able to fulfil all requirements in terms of international ship and port facility security compliances?”]]>
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