Parliament on Wednesday approved GHC1.2 billion for the Transport Ministry and its agencies to carry out activities for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023.
The amount represents a 33.06 per cent increase over the 2022 initial budgetary allocation of GHC921,483,000.00.
The 2022 fiscal year amount was subsequently revised to GHC832,028,321.00, and, as of September 2022, the Ministry had expended GHC461,824,396.84.
The Transport Ministry, in 2023, plans to undertake activities such as operationalising the “Ghana Airlines” as the home-based carrier for the country and deliver 55 intercity buses to Metro Mass Transit Limited to augment its fleet.
Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, moving the Motion for the approval in Parliament, said the Keta Port construction was a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project that the Government was embarking upon.
He said feasibility studies had been completed, which came out that the project was viable.
The Government had made available an initial five million dollars for the administration, and by the first quarter of 2023, the construction of the Administrative Block of the Keta Port would start, he said.
As regards the Airport Passenger Service Charge (APSC), Mr Asiamah said other airports in the country, apart from Accra and Kumasi, did not generate income.
He said the revenue from the two airports were used to administer the rest of the airports in the country.
There was the need for an economic rate for the APSC, which would enable the airports to recover the investments made in them to avoid becoming a burden on the Government, Mr Asiamah said, and assured the House that the Ministry would consult the House in all its dealings.
Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei, the Chairman of the Roads and Transport Committee, said the Committee observed that the current charges pertaining to the APSC were not competitive.
The Ministry brought to the attention of the Committee the need for the APSC to be reviewed to enable the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) to generate revenue to complement Government’s efforts in implementing the Ministry’s programmes.
The Ministry had programmed to complete the construction of the Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal (BILT) in 2023, he said, but there was the need to connect it to the Tema Habour to ensure it functioned optimally.
Mr Osei said the Committee, therefore, urged the Ministry of Transport to collaborate with the Railways Development Ministry to ensure that rail lines were extended through the BILT to the Tema Port.
Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza, the Deputy Ranking Member of the Roads and Transport Committee, in seconding the Motion, said the road carnage in the country had not changed, though the situation this year appeared slightly better than last year.
Touching on Aviation, he said the Ministry informed the Committee that it had selected an entity to operate Ghana Airlines as a home-based carrier; “that is to fly the flag of Ghana”.
“Mr Speaker, some of us are quite surprised that the entity that had been selected has no record in operating an airline, it is not merely a matter of recruiting former pilots and other things, I mean aviation business is quite a risky business,” Mr Agbodza said.
“Yes, we are happy that a local group will be part of this, but if they have no record of doing this, it is difficult to understand why we are doing this.”
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