Comments on Tamale Airport Project is disappointing – Okudzeto

Deputy Education Minister in-charge of Tertiary Institutions Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described as disappointing comments by a cross-section of Ghanaians about plans to upgrade the Tamale Airport.

“I am very disappointed in comments from the public and some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the upgrade of the Tamale Airport is a misplaced priority”.

Mr Ablakwa did not mention any specific NPP supporter who condemned the expansion of the Tamale Airport except to say the comments show “a lack of appreciation on the part of the NPP” and knowledge of the huge tourism potential the three Northern Regions provide for the country.

He made these remarks on Radio Gold’s ‘Alhaji Alhaji’ programme on Saturday.

President Mahama broke grounds for the expansion of the Tamale Airport into an international airport on Tuesday September 9, 2014.

The contractual agreement for the project was signed between the management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited and Brazilian contractors Quiroz Galvao.

The first phase of the project consists of the extension of the current 2,480 metres runway to about 3,940 and the complete installation of lighting system to accommodate bigger aircrafts.   

The Deputy Education Minister said the expansion of the Tamale Airport and various airports in the country is timely and that the president should rather be commended for taking on these projects.

He explained that because of the significant growth in the aviation sector over the years, it is only proper that other regions in the country are provided with adequate airports which will facilitate the movement of goods and people in and out of the country.  

“The three Northern Regions are a huge agricultural hub for our country and we need to tap into that, tonnes of yam and other perishable foodstuff are lost due to the fact that transportation is a challenge and farmers are unable to move their produce from their farms to market centres”.

He said the move by the president cannot be underestimated and the benefits that the country can gain from the three Northern regions cannot be overlooked.

“This project will cover many centuries of neglect in the three northern regions”.

The transportation of goods and people from the Tamale Airport he said will be very convenient and reduce the congestion on the roads.

Mr Ablawa said the decision of the president is to help solve the disequilibrium between regions in the country and to improve the status of the north which has become a source of labour.

He added that instead of the president being overly critiqued for doing his job, he should be commended that his vision for the development of the country is clear and that “to have a leader branch out into areas which were hitherto not done is commendable.”


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