General News of Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Minister of Aviation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is inspecting lands earmarked for the development of a commercial airport for Western and Central regions.
The proposed site for the commercial airport is expected to expand the aviation industry and shore up the development of the two regions.
Ms. Dapaah who toured the area together with her Deputy and the Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie detailed that plans are far advanced for the implementation of the project.
She indicated among other things that the Ministry is in talks with all relevant stakeholders including political heads and chiefs to ensure that the project is successful.
“We are here in line with government’s vision of opening up this country to serve the cherished people of Ghana for us to move freely in this country in the fastest way possible that is why we have the aviation ministry, as well as railway development as well as transport and we need to appreciate what God has done for us vis-a-vis the lands that we have and its one way of putting the land we have here to good use.
“We have a free-zone enclave here, it’s been established in Shamar, then we have the sea behind us which will serve as a small port in addition to the Takoradi port. The Airstrip in Takoradi is still on the drawing board but if you take an airstrip against an airport, you’ll prefer an airport that is why we have thought outside the box to have this very good project to serve the two regions and we are going to look for funding as quickly as possible. We are going to work with the chiefs, landowners, political heads here, legislature heads here, each and every stakeholder and we’ll entreat you to come along with us. We are all jointly and severally responsible to make this a reality so pray with us, pray with us and be with us” she said.
Ms. Dapaah indicated that prime focus will be given to the construction of roads leading to the airport to enable easy access.
“If this project is coming on board, we need a totally dedicated road for the airport, because you don’t enter any airport with the inhabitants living 20 meters from the road.
Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie on his part expressed excitement about the initiative which he says will serve as an alternative industrial hub in the country since all major economic and industrial activities are concentrated in the capital, Accra. He also reiterated his commitment to facilitating the necessary processes and coordinating with stakeholders to ensure that the airport is completed and in due time.
“We believe that the economic underpinnings are very crucial because as you know, the Western Region produces a bulk of Ghana’s exports. Talk about gold, rubber, coconut, bauxite, cocoa, even the last timber reserves, oil and gas is here now so the need for an air hub is very imperative and it is also as a country not desirable that all our economic and industrial activities are concentrated in the Accra-Tema enclave. There must be a counterpoise. We are offering that Western Region and by extension Central Region known for tourism and other things will provide the ideal place locate a second industrial hub. This is going to work in tandem to promote the idea of Ghana’s industrialization being propelled forward”.
”We are very excited, we will work with our chiefs and traditional authorities so that land is secured, everything that is legal, acquisition, compensation issues, as a Regional minister, I’ll be at the forefront making sure those things are sorted out so that we can as it were proceed on the fast lane to realise this very important ambition” she noted.