Better Ghana Agenda is on Course -- Hon. Dzifa Attivor
TopAfric Radio, the most listened station based in Hamburg - Germany, promotes African Culture, News, Entertainment, over the weekend Sunday, 18th December 2011 organised live interview with Ghana's Deputy Minister for Transport, Hon. Dzifa Attivor to climax the end of year's program of the station.
The Minister however used the opportunity to send her good-will messages to the Ghanaian community in the Diaspora.
The TopAfric Presenter (Dameshie-Brown) after usual formality, enquired from the Minister to explain and differentiate between duties of transport ministry and the ministry of roads and highways which of course confuse most people.
Hon. Dzifa Attivor Explained. “Road Infrastructure is the main responsibility of the ministry of roads and Highways, whereas the Transport ministry provides guidance for the development of Ghana's transportation system through: effective policy formulation, Market regulation, and Asset Management and Service provision"
According to the Minister's clarification, the institution has been formulated into various sub- sectors. They include: Aviation sub-sector, Maritime and Inland Water Ways Sub-sector, Raiway sub-sector and Road Transport Services sub-sector.
When asked to outline her ministry's set-up programs, vision and contribution towards national development as far as "Better Ghana Agenda" is concern. She continued ''the vision of the Ministry is to create an integrated, modally complementary, cost effective, safe, secure, sustainable and seamless transportation system responsive to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty reduction and capable of establishing Ghana as a transportation hub within the West African Sub-Region."
The Transport Minister however elaborated that, the aviation sub-sector has undergone tremendous growth in recent times both at the international and at the domestic level. She quickly attributed this trend to a reflection of the stable political, social and economic atmosphere and prudent policies of NDC Government under President Mills, especially the implementation of the liberalized skies policy.
Hon. Minister continued to outline series of completed and ongoing projects and added that“ With regard to infrastructure development, three (3) additional Boarding Gates have been constructed at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) during the year to bring the total to five (5)”.
“This has helped to reduce congestion at KIA with the increasing number of passengers, especially during the peak periods. The Hon. Minister confirmed that, work on the refurbishment, upgrading and expansion of the Domestic Terminal for international operations has started and is currently 80% complete“. She emphasized.
She further stated that, this would help in improving the efficiency of handling the increasing number of international flights/passengers In order to reduce passenger handling times and also it would be in tune with industry innovations and best practice, self-check-in equipment and software have been installed at KIA to facilitate passenger processing.
"The system provides a state-of-the-art information display for passengers, showing arrival, departure and boarding gate information. The construction of new parking aprons and taxiway is underway. The new aprons will create eight (8) additional parking spaces to accommodate wide body aircraft to meet the increase in frequency of flights". At this juncture, the minister paused and said, "Believe me, the better Ghana Agenda is on course"
Asked when these projects would take place, she reiterated that "the projects have commenced and almost completed. To ensure improvement in the water supply system, a water development and storage systems project has been completed at KIA to provide continuous water supply to all parts of the airport at all times. This will also go a long way to improve basic hygiene conditions at the airport. The construction of a perishable cargo centre is being undertaken under the Millennium Challenge Account to handle perishable cargo for export by our local farmers. This will ensure that the produce is fresh when exported and also enable farmers to be paid the right value".
The presenter quickly asked about development of Railway sub-sector, Hon Madam Dzifa replied “Due to the high patronage on the Accra-Tema Railway Line, Government is currently extending the line from Tema Port to Community 1 in Tema to increase benefits to commuters between Accra and Tema. This line is about 90% completed. It is expected to be operational by the first quarter of next year. As part of Government's effort to revamp the railway sub-sector, the Ghana Railway Act passed in December, 2008 has established the Ghana Railway Development Authority as the regulator and responsible Authority for the development and management of railway fixed assets".
Other crucial topics which were discussed included, political culture of insults and life threatening; continuation of NPP uncompleted and abandoned infrastructural projects; reunion of NDC to retain power; neglect of Volta Region of social development, To end up, Deputy Minister of transport, Hon Dzifa Attivor assured the listeners that, the upcoming general election would be peaceful and transparent and expressed the hope that, NDC party under professor John Atta-Mill would retain power come 2012.
Report by: Mensah Dekportor (Hamburg)