Kumasi Airport sod-cutting ceremony shocks Minority

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
 Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, NDC MP for Adaklu and Ranking Member on Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament
Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, NDC MP for Adaklu and Ranking Member on Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament

The Minority in Parliament has said it is stunned by the decision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to cut sod for the commencement of work on the second phase of the Kumasi International Airport.

It said the purported sod cutting ceremony by the President would amount to "a needless waste of time and scarce national resources in view of the fact that his predecessor, President John Dramani Mahama, performed the same ceremony on December 5, 2016."

In a statement signed by Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu and Ranking Member on Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, the Minority said  former President Mahama performed the ceremony after securing parliamentary approval of a loan of 65,037,500 Euros from Banco Santander S.A. and export credit support from the United Kingdom Export Finance Agency, for onward lending in the sum of 7,762,500 Euros, to the Ghana Airports Company Limited, in November, 2016.

That, it said, was preceded by a Cabinet’s approval.

"We note that the same contractor with whom an agreement was entered in 2016 to execute the project has been retained for the project. We find it inexplicable, therefore, that the President would waste scarce national resources only to perform a ceremony that has already been undertaken by his predecessor.

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It said the Minority caucus in Parliament deplored "this level of populism and shallow opportunism through which the Akufo Addo government seeks to take undue credit for the work of others."

Read also: Akufo-Addo cuts sod for Kumasi Airport phase 2 project

President Akufo-Addo being briefed by engineers on the site

Duplication of work

The statement said similar work was done by the NDC government under President Mahama in respect of the Tamale Airport.

Therefore, the Minority expected that the Akufo Addo government would go through the motions and formalities to ensure the commencement of work on the phase two of that project.

It said about $150 million was approved by Parliament in November, 2016 for the execution of the second phase of the project following the completion of the first which saw the extension of the runway.

President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of phase two of the Kumasi Airport Project on Wednesday.

The 66,035,000 Euros project is expected to be completed in 24 months.

The project, according to the President, would give Kumasi the “much-needed impetus to reinforce its position as an important commercial and transformational centre in Ghana and West Africa.”