The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has outdoored its plan for the infrastructure development of the country when elected in the December 7 elections to form the next government. This includes the construction of three new ports.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s Asylum Down national headquarters in Accra, Chairman of the party’s Infrastructure Committee and Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado Ketan in the Western Region, Joe Ghartey indicated, “We shall construct two new harbours in James Town and Keta and an inland port in Buipe,” he claimed, with a promise to make the country’s ports and harbours more efficient and cheaper to use as the processes would fully be automated to reduce time spent at the ports.
Apart from that, he gave the assurance that an NPP government would reduce port charges, continue the expansion of the Tema Harbour and extend the Takoradi harbour to Sekondi with a logistics centre to be developed in Sekondi.
“The Volta River will be developed into a major transportation artery in conjunction with the private sector,” he articulated, saying modern ferry ports would be developed at locations like Buipe, Yapei, Yeji, Makango, Kwadwokurom, Kete-Krachi, Adowso, Ekyemanfrom, Akateng and Boso.
Roads And Highways
“We shall systematically tar gravel roads in areas of high population density, agricultural production and tourism potential. We shall tar all cities and district capitals and progressively tar all other major towns in Ghana,” he emphasized.
As part of plans to end the nightmarish traffic congestion in the major cities and some highways in the country, Mr Ghartey, who is also the second deputy speaker of parliament asserted, “We shall widen major arterial roads into multi-lane carriageways, construct lay-bys and dedicated traffic lanes for high occupancy buses and construct by-passes and interchanges at major intersections such as Point 7 in Tamale, Tema Motorway Roundabout, Suame Roundabout, Oforikrom Intersection and Takoradi PTC Roundabout.”
The NPP has also promised to improve and increase access to the public transportation system.
According to the Infrastructure Committee Chairman, a government of the NPP would completely overhaul the railway sector, with a promise to revamp the Western and Eastern lines.
“We shall also expand the railway network from Kumasi to Paga. We shall build a Tema-Akosombo Rail Line and tie it in with a revived and expanded Volta Lake Transport System. This opportunity to transport goods and people from the South to the North and vice versa, through road, rail and water transport, is a clear example of our integrated approach to transport infrastructure,” he stated.
Regarding the aviation sector, Mr Joe Ghartey announced, “We will make our airports international and regional hubs. We shall also increase domestic air travel as part of our integrated transport system. We will achieve this through policies such as improving and increasing our transport infrastructure generally, reducing the price of aviation fuel and abolishing the 17.5 % VAT on domestic air fares, among others.”
Considering the fact that a large number of Ghanaians still do not have access to potable water, he indicated, “Under our ‘Water for All Agenda,’ we seek to ensure that every Ghanaian has access to portable water.
“We shall, among others, sink at least 25,000 new bore holes and 300 small town water supply systems and upgrade antiquated water supply systems in our towns and cities.”
The NPP said, “We cannot continue to have a knee jerk reaction to perennial flooding in Accra and other parts of Ghana.”
In the short term, the party intends to construct storm drains in Accra and other cities to deal with the recurring devastating floods.
As a long term and permanent solution, Joe Ghartey said the party plans to establish a National Hydrological Authority.
“The Authority shall plan, develop, maintain, protect and administer drainage and flood control measures. The Authority shall be responsible for constant dredging and desilting of our drains and water ways to ensure a free flow of water. This will bring an end to the ad hoc and uncoordinated approach to perennial flooding. The Authority will also be responsible for protecting our inland and sea coastlines from erosion,” he maintained.
The NPP has also promised to put ICT at the centre of the national development agenda, with an assurance to register every resident in Ghana within the first year under the National Identification Scheme.
“We shall automate the process involved in accessing public services at both the national and local government levels; and we shall facilitate nationwide access to mobile networks. We shall develop ICT Incubator Hubs in our regional capitals to create business opportunities in the private sector,” said Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee.
Apart from that the NPP would also support local ICT companies, among other measures, with the intention of opening up the economy to create jobs and wealth.
The party intends to provide serviced land banks to real estate companies and individuals for development, offer tax incentives to local real estate developers and producers of building materials, abolish the 5% VAT on real estate sales and work with identifiable groups such as the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), farmer’s groups and others to facilitate the construction of homes for their members through the provision of appropriate financing guarantees.
Mr Joe Ghartey indicated, “We shall also promote and develop the use of local materials in the construction of homes,” whiles facilitating the development of an active mortgage market to expand access of mortgage loans to Ghanaians.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu