ASANTEHENE, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has asked the Ministry of Transport to immediately conduct a Transport Impact Assessment (TIA) to determine the number of vehicles that must be allowed and imported into Ghana.
This exercise, he noted, should be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Roads and Highways to determine the number of vehicles that ply the various motorable road networks in the country.
The objective of this exercise, according to the King, is to decongest the unnecessary traffic congestion on the various road networks of the country.
“There are so many cars being imported into the country. This critically demands or calls for a Transport Impact Assessment. If we are able to do this, we'll be able to determine the number of vehicles that have been imported into the country as well as the number of vehicles that needed to ply our roads at any given time. How many kilometers of motorable road networks are there in Ghana that we are allowing so many vehicles to be imported? Everybody has a right to import a vehicle but there is the need to determine how many could ply our roads at any given time,” he noted.
He added that “While the Ministry of Transport is conducting the Transport Impact Assessment, the Ministry of Roads and Highways will also be able to tell us the number of road networks that could be opened to accommodate these vehicles. All these affect the economy. We buy diesel or petrol and waste them in traffic. It is not good for us.”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made this submission recently when the Minister for Transport, Mr. Kwaku Ofori-Asiamah, paid a courtesy call on him at Manhyia Palace, to ask for his blessings and to ask for permission to inspect the progress of work made on the expansion of the Kumasi Airport project which is ongoing.
Mr. Ofori-Asiamah was accompanied by the Acting Chief Director at the Ministry of Transport, Madam Mabel Sagoe, Director of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Transport, Madam Irene Messiba, Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Yaw Kwakwa, Director General, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Charles Krakue and other technical staff from the Ministry, GACL and GCAA.
Probe Workers' Agitations
Turning his attention to matters relating to the aviation industry, the King told the Transport Minister to probe the recent agitations by workers of GACL and resolve all related issues to enable Yaw Kwakwa operate in a peaceful environment.
To the King, Mr. Kwakwa has done a tremendous job at the GACL considering the huge debt he inherited and how he is servicing them, especially the US$274million loan facility government procured to finance the construction of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) Terminal 3.
“I don't know why the workers are agitating but Yaw Kwakwa is doing very well. So, please investigate it and let me know the outcome. The workers' agitations may be fueled by someone who perhaps, is interested in the position Kwakwa is occupying. If you follow all the things that Workers Union are saying, you won't be able to service the loan,” he noted.
Safety Records At KIA
Otumfuo, commenting further, lauded leadership of the GACL and that of GCAA for ensuring high aviation standards at the KIA, a feat which has culminated in the KIA being adjudged the 2019 Africa's Best Airport by size and region with a passenger population of between two and five million as well as the 2020 Best Airport in terms of safety by the Airports Council International.
Otumfuo also appealed to government to ensure that the Kumasi Airport runway is expanded to enable Boeing 373 to land at the airport.
Kumasi Airport Expansion Project Progressing
Mr. Ofori-Asiamah, on his part, thanked the King for continuous support to government and assured him of complying with all the requests that he has made.
Commenting on the Kumasi Airport expansion project, Mr. Ofori-Asiamah expressed happiness about the level of progress made so far, but noted that the completion date has been rescheduled to 2022.