Avoid Delay And Cost OverrunsPresident Mahama Cautions Airport Terminal 3 Contractors

Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama, has cautioned a Turkish firm, Mappa, against undue delay and its attendant cost overruns in the construction of the new Kotoka International Airport terminal – Terminal 3 – a flagship project of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL).

The President made the remarks despite the confidence he said he had in the contractors. He said: “I am confident that with the experience of the contractor, the work will be done within the estimated cost.”   Speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony in Accra yesterday to kick-start the project, the President commended GACL for, without recourse to the central government purse, relying solely on its internally-generated funds to give meaning to the project.

“I wish to congratulate the Board and management of the Ghana Airports Company for raising all the needed funding for this project on their own balance sheets, without recourse to the central government purse or to any sovereign guarantees,” he said, while encouraging all state-owned enterprises and corporate entities to emulate the example of Ghana Airports Company.

“All corporate entities and state-owned enterprises must work to fund their infrastructural projects to ensure that they pay for the cost of their projects by themselves,” he insisted. According to President Mahama, Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport formed part of the series of infrastructural projects lined up in the aviation sector – a sector which continues to make significant contributions to the economic growth of the country, through wealth creation and employment generation.

“Globally, the industry supports 58 million jobs and 2.4 trillion dollars in economic activity annually,” he noted. The ultra-modern Terminal 3 facility to be constructed would comprise a five-level facility, expanding up to 45,000 square kilometres of space, and a capacity to process 1,250 passengers per hour. Besides, the terminal, capable of handling five million air passengers a year, would have six boarding bridges, a large retail and commercial area, in addition to three business lounges.

“This landmark project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. With the completion of Terminal 3, the Kotoka International Airport will be the most attractive aviation destination in West Africa,” President Mahama assured, adding that “Accra is already a preferred hub for many airlines.

Government’s plan to set up a new national airline, under a Public-Private-Partnership arrangement, to support the policy objective of creating the Kotoka International Airport as an aviation hub is also on-going.” The President expressed optimism of having at least one aerodrome in every region to open up the country economically, and also facilitate medical and emergency evacuation services.

Speaking through an interpreter, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was in the country to observe the ceremony, said: “We are proud of the fact that a Turkish company will be acting as the contractor to build this new terminal,” as he expressed the belief that with the new facility, “Accra will connect to the world in an entirely different way.”

Seven Turkish flights currently move daily from Ankara to Accra, but this is expected to double to 14 in no time. It is, therefore, the hope of the Turkish President that this would enhance business relations between the two countries.

Pascal Kafu Abotsi

([email protected])

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