The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has hinted that his ministry is committed to ensuring the engagement of a strategic partner in revamping the Tema shipyard to enable the institution to play its role in the maritime industry.
According to him, government has a programme to ensure that the next FPSO that would be built would be in conjunction with Tema Shipyard, adding that government would continue with the port expansion at Takoradi and Tema.
The minister disclosed this during the opening of the 2017 transport sector review conference at Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipality of the Central Region.
The three-day conference themed, “Transport as a tool for job creation,” was attended by representatives from all agencies and department under the Transport Ministry.
Mr Ofori Asiamah indicated that the construction of fishing landing sites at Axim and Moree, as well as passenger reception facilities along the Volta Lake, would help facilitate transportation on the lake.
He bemoaned the level of encroachment of land belonging to agencies under the ministry.
“The Inter-City State Transport (ISTC) Company in Kumasi is currently in possession of only nine out of 21 acres of land the company initially acquired and the ministry would retrieve the lands,” he said
“Some priority projects that my administration was supposed to follow as the facilitation of a National Road Safety Agency Bill empower the Road Safety Commission to demand compliance and sanction offenders to serve as deterrent to others. The policy, proposal would soon be put before cabinet for consideration,” he said.
In the Western Region, Mr Ofori Asiamah mentioned inadequate technical staff, lack of space, as well as lack of patrol boats to enable the maritime authority to patrol the country’s territorial waters, as some of the challenges confronting the sector.
“We have initiated a process to acquire about 800 buses to support the operation of MMT and ISTC as part of efforts in restructuring the two organizations,” he added
He revealed that statistics from the National Road Safety Commission show that a total of 5,997 persons were injured from January to June, this year as against 5302 injuries recorded during the same period in 2016, representing an increase of 13 percent.
He expressed concern about the high rate of road accidents in the country, adding that about six persons are killed on the roads while additional 38 others sustain various injuries daily.
The Paramount Chief of Edina traditional area Nana Kwadwo Conduah VI appealed to politicians to consult traditional leaders on specific areas before the passage of any law.
From Joseph Annan, Elmina