MARAD working with Chile to improve security at ports


In addressing port security in Guyana, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill has said regulations, training and enhanced inspections of vessels must be balanced to avoid wasted investment.

The Minister was speaking at the opening of a port security workshop on Monday, when he expounded on illegalities at the country’s entry ports and said this is an issue that the government is continuously trying to tackle.

The workshop focuses on Port Security and was facilitated after discussions between the Public Works Minister and the Chile Ambassador to Guyana Juan Manuel Pino Vasquez.

The booming oil sector has created opportunities for Guyana. However, it has also created a new avenue for illegal activities, especially at the border. With this in mind, the Minister said port security needs to be of paramount importance.

“We don’t have people who are properly oriented and trained and equipped with particular world views and perspective to ensure the safety and security of our nations’ sake, it will be a waste of investments,” the Public Works Minister said.

Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill giving his address at the workshop Photo: Ministry of Public works/ September 26, 2022)

Therefore, he added, “Our government must balance its investment in hardware as well as in human resource development, capacity building institutional strengthening and it is in that collaborative spirit that we engaged Chile in a continuing engagement of the developing of our human resource capacity and strengthening our institution.”

Further, Edghill said there will be newer monitoring systems in place to ensure that the staff working at ports are not turning a blind eye. One such initiative is part of discussions the Minister is having with MARAD.

“There are a number of new initiatives that we are wondering and deliberating on. And one of the key initiatives that they (MARAD) are talking to me about is ensuring that the people who work at all of our ports are not just cleared by their employer but also cleared by MARAD.”

“We have to prevent the movement of illegal goods through our port…We are working on ensuring that we see everything that happens in all our ports by putting in the necessary infrastructure. We have to ensure that the people who work there are not facilitating illegalities,” he explained.

The Minister also noted that in order to become better, Guyana must embrace international best practices. As such he expressed gratitude to the government of Chile for extending training of practices used in Chile to Guyanese.

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