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General News of Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Source: Eye on Port

Government strategizes for sustainability amid disruptions of COVID-19 – Transport Minister

The Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah has disclosed that government in collaboration with the private sector is exploring various strategies for sustainability in the transport sector following the harsh lessons drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting an overview of the transport sector on the Eye on Port program, the Minister said the aviation industry, in particular, suffered the biggest loss with revenues reducing up to 20%.

He said statistics prove that cargo transport area of the aviation industry is a more viable area for business in comparison to passenger transport especially in these unprecedented times, explaining that conversations are being had for reinforced capacity in that area.

“We are asking that if the passenger area is not going to increase, is cargo going to increase? Statistics are pointing to that area. Do we need to build more warehouses to enable them to accommodate the new industry? We are looking at that too? And do we do it alone as a country or we can bring in the private sector to add on to the basic infrastructure we have in place,” the Transport Minister expressed.

Kweku Ofori Asiamah said in order to attract the private sector to invest in the aviation industry, the Government is putting in place some basic infrastructure including the Kumasi Airport Expansion project where phases 2 and 3 of the project are ongoing.

Similarly, he indicated that works on phase 2 of the Tamale Airport Expansion project are ongoing.

The Transport Minister, who has just commenced his second term at the Transport Ministry is now also in charge of Aviation following the merger of both ministries.

He said, despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 on the transport sector in Ghana, developmental projects within the maritime sector have continued with some scheduled to meet their expected deadlines.

Mr. Asiamah said 3 out of 4 berths of the MPS Terminal 3 have been completed and are already operational giving Ghana a major competitive advantage in international trade in terms of port facility.

“For the first time in the history of West Africa, we have what we call the panamax vessel dock in our port which is very significant.”

He revealed that the construction of the Atlantic Multipurpose Terminal at the Port of Takoradi is almost complete and expected to open between the middle and end of the year 2021.

The Transport Minister also said the first tranche of funding has also been secured for the construction of the Boankra Inland Port and physical construction will begin soon despite early challenges associated with the procurement processes.

He said, “not only will this project aid trade in the middle belt, but it would facilitate the creation of an industrial hub around the Boankra area.”

The Hon. Kweku Ofori Asiamah, also revealed that the Government of Ghana has earmarked three towns, namely Ekumfi Otuam, Osu, and Mfantseman for the construction of modern fish landing sites, making the total number of such projects along the coastal regions of Ghana, fourteen (14).

The other eleven (11) areas are Axim, Dixcove, and Moree in the Western Region, Elmina, Senya Beraku, Gomoa Fete, Winneba and Mumford in the Central Region, Jamestown and Teshie in the Greater Accra Region, and Keta in the Volta Region- all intended to give the artisanal fishing industry a major facelift.

He said the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority had over his first tenure experienced a technological transformation to improve efficiency as well as do away with the problem of too many middlemen or what he called, “goroism.”

The Minister of Transport also said in order to give institutional power for the performance of their mandate to promote road safety, the Road Safety Commission was also changed to the National Road Safety Authority.

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