Adaklu Member of Parliament Kwame Governs Agbodza has written on the Tamale Airport redevelopment project as Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia opened the new Tamale International Airport on Tuesday, August 22.
This infrastructure project supported by the UK Government through UK Export Finance (UKEF) in Ghana is expected to increase connectivity across the country and the West African region as well as promoting economic growth in Northern Ghana by supporting greater export of agricultural products produced in the region such as shea butter, cashew nuts and mangoes.
Mr Aboadza who is also the Minority Chief Whip said “It must be emphasized that the decision of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP administration to substitute the original lender for the seconr phase of the project, Banco Santander S.A, with UK Export and KfW-IPEX Bank of Germany, cannot make this project a brainchild of this government. As we speak, the contractor on the project remains Queiroz Galvao.”
Below is the full statement he issued…
SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT ON THE JOHN MAHAMA TAMALE AIRPORT REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT.
Facts on any issue can only be one. No amount of embellishing facts will make them different. The case of upgrading of the Aviation Sector in Ghana was clearly made under the NDC government.
Evidence abounds in the construction of a new Terminal at Kotoka, a new Airport at Ho, Redevelopment of the Kumasi Airport, Redevelopment of the Tamale Airport and some upgrading works at the Wa Airport. In the specific case of the Tamale Airport project, President Mahama showed vision and commitment to transform Ghana by initiating this project, aimed at breaching the north-south gap and repositioning Ghana as an Aviation Hub to facilitate trade and regional integration.
- Phase I of the Tamale Airport Redevelopment project entailed the rehabilitation and extension of the existing runway from 2,438m to about 4,000m , the longest runway in Ghana currently, to be able to accommodate larger aircrafts. As part of this project, a detailed design, extension and strengthening of the existing runway pavement, rehabilitation of the existing taxiway, taxi-links and apron were carried out.
- The project scope also included the expansion of the existing apron to accommodate 3 wide-bodied medium-size aircrafts, construction of an inner perimeter fence with a height of 2.4 meters above the existing ground level and construction of access roads on both sides of the inner perimeter.
- The project was scheduled to be completed within 18 months from the date of commencement. This followed an MOU that was signed between the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and Queiroz Galvao of Brazil, when Former President Mahama paid a state visit to Brazil to sell the profile of the Ghana Airport Company Limited and its investment opportunities to the Brazilian investors.
- The Government of President Mahama and the NDC envisioned the Tamale Airport upgrade as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport. Tamale was identified as the best alternative destination to the Kotoka International Airport, due to its unique distance from the sea breeze of the South which causes corrosion to aircrafts. The project was also in fulfillment of the requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAC) that enjoins member countries to have alternative international airports that have similar capacity as their main Airport.
The redevelopment was to further tap into the huge potential of Tamale as a hub for the annual Hajj pilgrimage not only for Ghana, but for the entire Sahelian region.
Indeed, this expansion aided the take off of five large flights from Tamale to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2016.
The project was further meant to boost the local economy, and open up global markets to the potential offered by the Savanah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) through the export of fresh agricultural produce.
- In the year 2016, specifically on 31st October, 2016, Parliament passed the Agreements entered into by the Government of Ghana, namely, Buyer Credit and Commercial Agreements, for the Redevelopment of the Kumasi and Tamale airports.
- On the Kumasi Airport project, a Buyer Credit Agreement was signed between the Government of Ghana and Banco Santander S.A and its affiliates for an amount of €65,037 500 for the development of one section of the Kumasi International Airport. Another section of the Kumasi Airport was to be developed with a commercial loan agreement for an amount of €7,762,500, signed between Government of Ghana and Banco Santander S.A.
- The Commercial Contract Agreement for the Kumasi Airport project was between the Government of Ghana and Contracta Construction UK Limited for an amount of €66,350,000 for the design and execution of works for the development of the Kumasi International Airport.
- On the Redevelopment of the Tamale international Airport, the John Mahama/NDC government entered into a Buyer Credit Agreement for the design and construction of the Tamale International Airport with Banco Santander S.A and its affiliates for an amount of $56,000,000.
- The former administration further contracted another facility, the Commercial Agreement, for the design and construction of the Tamale International Airport between the Government of Ghana and Queiroz Galvao Construction Limited for an amount of $70,000,000, while a tied commercial loan agreement with Banco Santander S.A and its affiliates for $24,000,000 was secured for the design and construction of Phase II of the Tamale International Airport.
Phase I of the project was commissioned by President Mahama on 19th August, 2016, and shortly after, 500 Muslim pilgrims flew directly from the Tamale International Airport to Mecca, as was reported by Daily Graphic online:
The loan agreements for Phase II of the redevelopment were laid in Parliament on 25th October, 2016, which basically involved the construction of a terminal and a cargo section for the export of fresh vegetables and other agricultural produce. Phase I of the Airport was therefore completed and inaugurated, while the financing arrangement for Phase II of the Tamale International Airport Redevelopment was equally secured before this Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government assumed the reins of office.
- It must be emphasized that the decision of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP administration to substitute the original lender for the seconr phase of the project, Banco Santander S.A, with UK Export and KfW-IPEX Bank of Germany, cannot make this project a brainchild of this government. As we speak, the contractor on the project remains Queiroz Galvao.