Oguaa residents unhappy with 2024 budget silence on Airport and Harbour

Economy & Investments Oguaa residents unhappy with 2024 budget silence on Airport and Harbour
NOV 17, 2023 LISTEN

Some residents in the Cape Coast (Oguaa) Metropolis have expressed disappointment about the silence of the 2024 budget on the government’s pledge to construct a cargo airport and harbour in the historic city.

The proposed Cargo Airport, with a focus on tourism and aviation excellence, aims to become Africa's leading centre for large-scale aircraft repair and personnel training.

It would also facilitate rapid responses during emergencies.

This initiative aligns with the government’s economic transformation agenda to bolster intra-Africa trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA).

Reacting to the budget statement presented to Parliament by Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance on Wednesday, the aggrieved residents reminded the government to come clear on the promise because they were eagerly waiting for it.

In separate interviews through the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, the residents in a seemingly unanimous conviction recollected what they said were emphatic statements by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia that the Party's Second term in office will bring that promise to fruition.

However, following the budgetary blackout of the projects, the residents were surprised and skeptical about the government’s ability to deliver the bold promise before December 2024 as promised.

Vice President, Dr. Bawumia at the launch of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) 2020 manifesto in Cape Coast, promised to construct a harbour and an airport in Cape Coast should Ghanaians renew their mandate to run the affairs of the country for the second term.

The NPP’s promise underscored the importance of an airport and harbour as critical in boosting tourism and fishing to accelerate development across the Region.

“For the people of Cape Coast, I have good news for you, we are building a new harbour in Cape Coast and a new airport. It is very critical that we do that.

“An airport makes a lot of sense in Cape Coast. It is a real tourist hub and between Greater Accra and Kumasi, you have a triangle that really is a hub for economic activities, you can build railway lines between them, and it is a major growth pole if we put an airport here to drive infrastructural growth,” he added.

Since then, government officials have reiterated their commitment to the project, assuring the people of Cape Coast that it will indeed materialize.

Speaking on behalf of a group of fishmongers at Anaafo fish market, Madam Grace Adobah expressed grave disappointment in the government for not commencing the construction of the facility after almost four years.

“The government deceived us into voting for them in the 2020 election with those two projects that had failed to see the light of day,” she stressed.

Mr. Foster Bentil Otabil, a taxi driver, said the facilities would necessitate the development of supporting infrastructure, such as improved roads and transportation networks, thereby enhancing the overall quality of life in rural areas.

Praying on the government to redeem its promise, he said, “the airport’s establishment is expected to aid increased tourism, leading to the growth of the local tourism industry.”

Mr. Daniel Dadzie, an Electrical Engineer from Nkanfoa told the government to make its stand now on the feasibility of the two giant projects.

He indicated that the economy has had a nosedive for the government to cough up the huge amount to commence the projects; however, it was politically prudent to inform the public about the intention of the government.

“The government urged on us to vote for them to deliver the two projects, but having done our bargain, the government is feet-dragging its part.

“This is not politically good for this administration considering the fact that the party would come around to canvas for votes in the December 2024 election. They have to explain this with no ambiguity, else they would have themselves to blame in the 2024 election,” Mr. Dadzie cautioned.