Business News of 2014-07-23

New national airline to be set up

The government has engaged a transaction advisor to help set up a new international airline on a public/private partnership (PPP) basis for the country.

The Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Aku Attivor, who announced this when her ministry took its turn at the meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday, said the ministry was currently collaborating with the Ministry of Finance for the smooth implementation of the project.

She also announced that work on the upgrading of the Tamale Airport to an international airport was scheduled to begin at the end of the month.

She indicated that the ministry, in collaboration with the presidential task force on aviation and the relevant agencies, was in the process of establishing a second international airport in the Dangbe West District of the Greater Accra Region.

“The process of acquisition of land for the project was ongoing,” she said.

Mrs Attivor said the performance of the aviation sub-sector had improved significantly, adding that it was the policy of the government to develop airports or aerodromes in all the 10 regions of the country.

She said the construction of a bulk cargo handling jetty at the Tema Port was currently ongoing and that work was expected to be completed in November 2015.

She said that seven contractors had been pre-qualified to bid for the project to establish a new container terminal at the port.

Apart from the proposed airport projects, Mrs Attivor said work was ongoing in the maritime sector too.

For instance, the minister said work on the construction of the International Maritime Hospital was about 75 per cent complete and that it was expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2015.

She said the ministry had procured three 50-seater high-speed passenger ferries and one modular passenger vessel to strengthen the capacity of the Volta Lake Transport Company (VTLC) in the provision of lake transport services.

Mrs Attivor said because of the increasing number of road traffic accidents, the ministry had launched a passenger empowerment campaign to make passengers alert and speak up against driver misbehaviour.

She said in addition to the existing private vehicle testing stations, 13 more had been granted licences to set up throughout the country, saying one had already started operations in Tema.

“In a bid to improve service provision to the public, the government is supplying the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Company with 200 new buses to augment its current fleet of 1, 019,” she said.

She said Parliament had given approval for the credit facility and all the buses would be delivered by the end of the year.

Mrs Attivor announced that the ministry was also assisting in the procurement of 295 buses for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the Intercity State Transport Corporation (ISTC).

“Out of the fleet, 245 would be given to the BRT, while the remaining 50 would be given to the ISTC.

“Eighty-five of the buses are expected to be delivered by the end of the year to commence the first phase of the BRT project between Accra and Amasaman,” she said.

Mrs Attivor mentioned inadequate funding to support infrastructural development in the sector, limitations at the ports which did not meet the demands of bigger modern vessels and an ageing fleet of commercial vehicles as some of the challenges facing the sector.

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