The sod cutting ceremony carried out by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday, June 10, 2018, for the Phase 2 of the Takoradi Port expansion project is a waste of the taxpayers’ money, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Western Region, has said.
According to the party, Mr Akufo Addo’s action amounts to duplication since the sod cutting has already been done by his predecessor, John Dramani Money.
A statement signed by Richard Kirk-Mensah, Deputy Director of Communications for the NDC in the region, said: “We the NDC believe in transformation and development as the effective tool to create permanent jobs for Ghanaian unemployed youth and also to give the country a facelift in terms of infrastructural development, our immediate past leadership embarked on magnificent unprecedented infrastructural development across all sectors of the economy scattered at every corner of the country.
“The maritime sector which plays important role in globalisation of trade was one of the keys areas the NDC under the leadership of his Excellency John Dramani Mahama never took likely in a serious bid to expand, transform and modernise its operations to enhance productivity and maximise revenue for the national growth.
If you will recall in December 5th, 2013 His Excellency John Dramani Mahama cut the sod for the commencement of the expansion of the Takoradi port. The work which form part of the government infrastructural expansion programme was being done in phases to modernise the countries port.
It is also a fact that until that project commencement, the Takoradi Port since 1928 had never seen any form of expansion work. The project included the reclamation of 53 hectares of land, the dredging and extending the breakwaters, and also the construction of a new oil and gas jetty and bulk container to create space to handle larger vessels and to accommodate about 100,000 metric tonnes of cargo. This 1st phase was successfully executed by a Belgian contractor name JAN DE NUL.”
The statement added: “In our quest to make the Takoradi Port as busy and competitive as it sister Port in Tema, ladies and gentlemen of the Media, we didn’t limit our expansion work.
The NDC government aided the Ghana Ports to secure another 160 million euros to start the 2nd phase of the going expansion port which was duly approved by the parliament in December 2015.
When GPHA secured that loan, the expansion works continued steadily and the 2nd phase projects include construction of a new manganese and bauxite terminal, the physical marine and ore terminals and the connecting roads to and from the port, example the popular New Takoradi - Ghacem stretch of road.
“It’s so surprising and shocking that after a failed two regional tours, the President of the Republic would want to be seen as working, but thereby wasting our tax payers monies just to repeat works done by his predecessor. We believe governance is a continuous process and we believe the NPP government will stop the mediocrity and get to serious work. The Ports expansion work he came to cut sod is an ongoing project which funding has already been fully secured.
There is nothing wrong for the President to visit on-going projects as part of his failed working tour but what we will not take from him is for him and his party (NPP) to create an impression that it is during their era that the Takoradi Ports is experiencing the already ongoing expansion works. Hence continuing to rule on deceits, lies and propaganda will never be adherence to the NPP party and the country's constitution.
“We the NDC will urge His Excellency and His government that, there are numerous completed projects which need only commissioning and we will kindly ask him to turn his attention to that venture than to waste our taxpayers monies to repeat works or cut sod done by his predecessor.”
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