The Chief Director and Staff of the Ministry of Information,
The Chief Director and Directors of the Ministry of Transport,
Chief Executives and Staff of Agencies under the Ministry,
Members of the Press,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
Today is the turn of the Ministry of Transport in the “Meet-the-Press” series and it is indeed my pleasant duty to share with you issues pertaining to the Transport Sector. It is my expectation that at the end of my presentation we will engage ourselves in a positive dialogue to help the Ministry advance its course in the “Better Ghana Agenda”.
My presentation will focus on the Performance of the Sector, Challenges and the Way Forward. The Ministry of Transport is almost three (3) years since its establishment and has oversight responsibility for all the modes of transport, except road Infrastructure, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
The Mission of the Ministry is to provide leadership and guidance for the development of Ghana’s transportation system through:
(i) Effective Policy formulation
(ii) Market regulation
(iii) Asset management and
(iv) Service provision.
In line with Government’s Shared Growth and Development Agenda, the vision of the Ministry is to create an integrated, modally complementary, cost effective, safe, secure, sustainable and seamless transportation system responsive to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty reduction and capable of establishing Ghana as a transportation hub within the West African Sub-Region.
The Sector Policies and programmes are derived from the Transport Sector Goals as contained in the National Transport Policy and include the following:
Establish Ghana as a Transportation Hub within the West African Sub-Region;
Create a sustainable, accessible, affordable, reliable, effective, efficient, safe and secure transport system that meets user needs;
Integrate land use, transport planning, development planning and service provision;
Create a vibrant investment and performance-based management environment that maximizes benefits for public and private sector investors;
Develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated Policy, Governance and Institutional Framework;
Ensure Sustainable Development in the Transport sector; and
Develop adequate Human Resource and apply new Technology.
These policies and programmes are carried out by the modal agencies. These are:
• Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) as the regulator and air navigation service provider for the aviation industry.
• Ghana Airports Company Ltd. (GACL) is responsible for the planning, development, management and operations of all public aerodromes in the country.
Maritime and Inland Water Ways sub-sector
• Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) is the regulator of the maritime industry and is responsible for the safety and security of the marine environment.
• Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) is responsible for the planning, development and management of all Ports and Harbours in the country.
• Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) protects and promotes the interest of shippers (importers and exporters) in Ghana.
• PSC Tema Shipyard provides dry docking services
• Volta Lake Transport Company Ltd. (VLTC) provides water transportation services on the Volta Lake.
• Regional Maritime University (RMU) provides training for the Maritime Industry.
• The Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) is the regulator and manager of railway fixed assets.
• The Ghana Railway Company Ltd. (GRCL) operates railway services.
Road Transport Services sub-sector
• The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is a regulator for road transport and licenses drivers and vehicles.
• The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) coordinates road safety activities and provides publicity and education on road safety.
• The Metro Mass Transit Ltd. (MMT) provides public transport services for urban and rural areas.
• The Intercity STC Coaches Ltd. (ISTC) provides inter-city and some international transport services to Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire.
• Government Technical Training Centre (GTTC) provides training for artisans and commercial drivers.
KEY PERFORMANCE/ACHIEVEMENTS FOR 2011
The aviation sub-sector has undergone tremendous growth in recent times both at the international and at the domestic level.
This is a reflection of the stable political, social and economic atmosphere and prudent policies of Government, especially the implementation of the liberalized skies policy.
Passenger throughput for the period under review has continued to increase. For example, the number of international passengers for January to August, 2010 compared to the same period in 2011 has increased by 16.7%, that is, from about 900,000 to over 1,000,000.
Most significantly, in the domestic front, the increase for the same period is about 29.6% rising from just over 81,000 to about 106,000 passengers. This is as a result of the introduction of two (2) new airlines namely: Aero Survey (Starbow) and Fly540 which has led to increased business in the aviation industry, increased revenue generation, provided more options for domestic travelers, increased competition resulting in lower air fares and creation of employment.
With regard to infrastructure development, three (3) additional Boarding Gates were constructed at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) during the year to bring the total to five (5). This has helped to reduce congestion at KIA with the increasing number of passengers, especially during the peak periods.
Work on the refurbishment, upgrading and expansion of the Domestic Terminal for international operations has started and is currently 80% complete. This will help in improving the efficiency of handling the increasing number of international flights/passengers.
In order to reduce passenger handling times and also be in tune with industry innovations and best practice, self-check-in equipment and software have been installed at KIA to facilitate passenger processing. The system provides a state-of-the-art information display for passengers, showing arrival, departure and boarding gate information.
The construction of new parking aprons and taxiway is underway. The new aprons will create eight (8) additional parking spaces to accommodate wide body aircraft to meet the increase in frequency of flights. The project has commenced and was 31% complete as at October, 2011.
An ultra-modern Fire Station has been completed and handed over as at March, 2011. In addition, the servicing and refurbishment of fire tenders are also being undertaken and is about 95% complete. These projects are among the safety measures being adopted to forestall any unforeseen emergency and improve response time within and around the airport city.
To ensure improvement in the water supply system, a water development and storage systems project has been completed at KIA to provide continuous water supply to all parts of the airport at all times. This will also go a long way to improve basic hygiene conditions at the airport.
The construction of a perishable cargo centre is being undertaken under the Millennium Challenge Account to handle perishable cargo for export by our local farmers. This will ensure that the produce are fresh when exported and also enable farmers to be paid the right value for their goods.
A new landing aid, Doppler VHF Omni-directional Radio Range, has been installed to help pilots to navigate safely and efficiently to or from KIA under all weather conditions without the need to depend on Air Traffic Controllers for information.
Another navigational equipment, an ADS-C/CPDLC Communication System has also been installed to improve communication between pilots and controllers, especially, in the oceanic/remote regions where there is no radar coverage for enhanced navigation services. These are all measures being taken to ensure aviation safety and security as prescribed by international standards.
The year 2011 also saw the implementation of IATA Flexible Routing (IFLEX) routes programme. This programme was introduced to reduce flight times, fuel consumption and carbon emissions to guide the Pilot in the most efficient route to use.
An Automatic Weather Observation System and an Automatic Terminal Information equipment have been installed to enhance communication with aircraft. This provides weather information on continuous basis; i.e. every 30 minutes.
In order to enhance the human resource base of the industry, training facilities within the Ghanaian aviation industry have been improved to meet international mandatory aviation training standards.
The GCAA is currently in partnership with IATA to provide training in its Aviation Training Academy. This has reduced the cost of providing aviation training which would have been done abroad. The GCAA also rehabilitated its Electronic Training School with the aim of providing training locally and also for the sub-region.
Air Carrier Licenses (ACL) were issued by GCAA to three (3) other Ghanaian airlines; Africa World Airlines for scheduled passenger & cargo services, BF Jet Air Ghana Ltd. for non-scheduled executive jet charter services and Century Aviation for non-scheduled helicopters & fixed wing services.
A number of airlines are undergoing their certification process and we expect them to finish the process in 2012. These include: Eagle Atlantic, NHV Aviation Ltd., Pison Airways Ltd., Africa World Ltd.
As a response to requests by our international trading partners, during the year, two (2) new international airlines were designated to fly to Ghana; Tap Air, from Portugal, has commenced operations and Royal Jordanian Airlines is also expected to commence operations before the end of the year.
In our quest to regain the FAA Category One status, the GCAA is currently restructuring and reviewing systems and procedures in this regard and a number of technical corrective measures are being put in place. This will enable a Ghanaian carrier to fly direct to the US.
The above will also enhance Ghana’s airspace as a safe aviation hub and attract other airlines to Ghana with the related benefits of employment generation among others.
We are also mindful of creating employment opportunities for our people and as a result, the Ghana Airports Company Ltd. created 321 new jobs and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority also employed 37 new staff into various departments of the Authority.
Due to the outstanding performance and achievements of Ghana’s aviation sub-sector, KIA was awarded the coveted “Best African Airport Marketing of the year 2011” at the Routes Africa Forum in Bamako, Mali.
KIA was again adjudged “Regional Winner” at the World’s Route Marketing awards in Berlin, Germany in October, 2011.
KIA also won the “Best Security and Safety conscious Airport in West Africa for the year 2011” conferred by Security Watch Africa in Banjul, Gambia in October, 2011.
It is also no mean achievement that the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Ltd. won the prestigious “CIMG Marketing Woman of the year 2011”.
In recognition of the strides in the aviation sub-sector, Imani Ghana, in its second edition of “Top 5 Most Inspirational Leaders in Ghana” named the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Ltd. and the Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority as the winners for 2011.
Maritime and Inland Waterway sub-sectors
The maritime industry like aviation is experiencing significant growth. Also on the wake of the oil find, there is pressure on the existing port facilities to accommodate the increase in traffic especially the supply vessels that ply between the Port and the oil field.
Comparable cargo traffic handled for both Ports up to September this year and the same period in 2010 shows an increase of 24% over last year’s. Similarly, container traffic also shows an increase of 26% over that of last year.
To respond to the growing needs of the maritime industry, the Ministry is on course to implement major expansion works at the seaports of Tema and Takoradi. Pending the expansion works, the GPHA has this year committed substantial investment to upgrade, rehabilitate or replace existing facilities at the seaports to ensure safety of cargo and ships at the ports, improve the delivery of cargo and vessel services to shippers and ship-owners as well as provide better and hygienic conditions for our fishing community. To this end the following principal projects have been provided or are ongoing at the seaports:
1. Upgrading of the Closed-Circuit Television system [CCTV] to cover the entire main seaport of Tema including the Golden Jubilee Terminal at a cost of about US$3million.
2. Provision of Traffic Lights at the principal road intersections around the Tema Port to control and manage traffic into and out of the seaports at a cost of almost GH¢700,000.00
3. Deployment of over 25 new operational plant consisting of reachstackers, tractors, and forklifts of various sizes costing well over US$3million.
4. Supply contracts for the supply of new marine craft to include a Tugboat, Security Patrol and Rescue boat as well as Pilot launch, all costing over US$10million.
5. Works contracts to dredge and reconstruct the canoe basin of the Tema Fishing Harbour at a cost of about GH¢7million.
6. Installation of Four new weighbridges and upgrading of four old ones at a cost GH¢350,000.00 at the port to ensure that loaded trucks from our ports stay within the permissible axle load limits on our roads.
The proximity of Takoradi Port to the current oil fields makes her the priority of the Ministry in our ports expansion programme. Accordingly the GPHA has engaged engineering consultants, Messrs SellHorn Ing. & Hamburg Port Consultants (HPC), to review the detailed design proposals for the proposed expansion of Takoradi Port for works to commence early next year under the China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) loan facility for the Phase 1 expansion works. The works under this first phase will include the following principal items:
• An extension of the existing breakwater to create additional harbour basin for the berthing of ships.
• Dredging of the additional harbour basin to provide for the intake of bigger ships drawing 14m of water or more.
• Construction of dedicated bulk cargo jetty for the handling of manganese, bauxite, cement and oil.
• Construction of additional quay length for the berthing of more ships principally the several supply vessels calling at the port.
• Reclamation of the sea to create operational areas for the oil & gas activities to include fabrication and workshop yards.
Simultaneously engineering Consultants have been engaged with support from the Dutch government to prepare a Master Ports Development plan to guide the Ministry in the utilization of our coastline for purposes of providing marine services to shippers.
The Ministry is currently in discussion with the Ministry of Agriculture in respect of the proposed development of a number of fish landing sites from Axim to Keta.
The 24% increase in port traffic has equally resulted in an increase in the number of dock labour, truck drivers and driver mates, plant operators, warehouse operators, food vendors and other support services engaged in our marine industry. This is very obvious especially around the Port City of Tema. Additionally the ports engaged directly a total of 192 staff to beef up her manpower strength to handle the increased port traffic.
In addition, Government has signed an MOU with the South Korean Government to assist with the construction of a Deep Sea Port to support the future needs of the oil & gas industry. A feasibility study on the project is on-going and will be completed next year.
Similarly, Government has also signed an MOU with Lonrho of U.K. to carry out a feasibility study with the aim of establishing an Oil Service Terminal to complement the Ports in the handling of the oil & gas activities.
In line with the increase in traffic growth as well as the oil & gas activities, the Ghana Maritime Authority has reviewed its existing laws to incorporate activities of the oil find. These Acts include:
• Ghana Shipping (Amendment) Act, 2011
The existing Ghana Shipping Act imposes restrictions on the trading of foreign registered ships in Ghanaian waters by preserving local trade to Ghanaian ships. However, the current definition of Ghanaian waters is limited to the 12 Nautical Miles (NM) territorial sea.
This amendment will extend the definition of Ghanaian waters to include the waters within the 500 meter safety zone generated automatically around installations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and provide a permitting regime for foreign ships trading within Ghanaian waters when necessary.
• Ghana Maritime Authority (Amendment) Act, 2011
This amendment will enhance the Ghana Maritime Authority’s role and provide the requisite mandate to enhance the revenue base of the Authority.
• Ghana Maritime Security (Amendment) Act, 2011
This amendment will also extend the scope of application of this Act to cover offshore oil or gas installations beyond the territorial sea. It will also incorporate audit and inspection provisions for foreign-registered ships, Mobile Offshore Drilling Units and offshore installations in Ghanaian waters.
More significantly, to prevent marine source pollution and protect the Marine environment, a comprehensive Marine Pollution Bill has been developed and finalized for passage into Act.
The GMA has conducted Port State Control on 222 vessels that called at the Ghanaian Ports. The Port State Control Inspection is to ensure that vessels that call at the Ports of Ghana are seaworthy and operate in compliance with safety, security and marine environment pollution prevention.
The Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport obtained Parliamentary approval for a loan facility of €16.63million to procure and operate a Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS) to ensure comprehensive surveillance of Ghana Maritime domain. The VTMIS has been procured and necessary steps are being put in place for its installation.
The Authority with approval from IMO has established an Area To Be Avoided (ATBA) in the Jubilee fields to enhance safety of navigation and ensure security of installations.
The Ghana Maritime Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and with partnership from the United Nations Development Programme embarked on a programme to create enabling environment for Ghanaian seafarers to access jobs in the international Maritime industry.
In this regard, the Authority has established a seafarer electronic data base to facilitate online verification of certificate of Competence issued to Seafarers.
Also, the European Maritime Safety Agency undertook an audit of the Authority’s examination and certification system to test Ghanaian’s compliance with requirements of Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention. This audit will pave the way for Ghanaian seafarers to be employed on European-flagged ships.
In order to facilitate improved shipping services, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority is undertaking the following projects:
• Takoradi Logistics Platform Project
During the year, the Ghana Shippers’ authority commenced the development of the Takoradi Logistics Platform. The Platform will provide warehousing facilities and facilitate the provision of ancillary services for the oil & gas industry and also create employment avenues for about 100 Ghanaians.
Specific works that have been undertaken include the completion of a perimeter fence wall and grading of roads, commencement of the construction of warehousing facilities, installation of high tension power lines and drilling of a borehole to supply water to the project site.
• Accra Shippers’ Centre Project
The Ghana Shippers’ Authority has secured a loan facility of six million dollars to assist in the construction of the Accra shippers’ Centre which is currently under construction. The Centre which is an eleven-storey project is located in the Central Business District of Accra. It will house the GSA’s corporate Head Office as well as other corporate bodies who will rent office space. It is also intended to be a one-stop-shop facility for commercial shipping activities including brokerage services.
• Extension of services to shippers in some parts of the country
During the year, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority formally extended its services to shippers located in some parts of the country through the:
a. Inauguration of Upper West Regional Shipper Committee;
b. Opening of its fourth Shipper Complaints and Support Unit at the Aviance Cargo Village of the Kotoka International airport; and
c. Establishment of a Border Trade Information Centre (BTIC) at the Aflao border post in collaboration with the West Africa trade Hub (WATH).
These activities are geared at not only facilitating the day-to-day business of shippers but also providing importers and exporters with much needed information and assistance to enable them to cut down on the cost of doing business and ultimately increase their competitiveness on the world market.
• Boankra Inland Port Project:
This is a facility intended to help decongest the Ports and facilitate Transit trade. The GSA has intensified its search for a strategic partner to undertake the development of the entire Boankra Inland Port project on Build Operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
The estimated amount of funds required to undertake the development of the Inland port is USD250million. Key to the development of this project is the efficient operation of the defunct Eastern Railway Line. The Government is making efforts to rehabilitate this line.
In view of the challenge of finding strategic partners, the GSA has taken a decision to pursue the development option of allotting the various components of the master plan to private investors. Very soon, advertisements will be made in the media for interested investors to participate.
Under the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) project, one (1) new Ferry has been constructed awaiting commissioning whilst the other ferry will be completed next year to improve services at the Adawso - Ekye-Amanfro crossing.
The Ministry of Transport, on behalf of VLTC, has obtained a World Bank loan facility and procured eight (8) Main Engines and eight (8) Auxiliary Engines to refurbish the old ferries which will improve ferry services at the following crossing points: Yeji, Dambai and Kpando-Torkor.
Under the CDB credit facility, ferries will also be deployed to Dzemeni and Tepa Abotoase.
The Volta Lake Enhancement Project has improved the lives of the people living in communities around the Volta Lake. Over 3,700 lives have been saved by Life Guards in both major and minor accidents this year.
Also, over 19,000 life jackets have been donated to members of various communities located along the banks of the Lake. Just recently, after the 6th September, 2011 boat disaster at Sene in the Brong Ahafo Region, 3,000 life jackets were distributed to Boat Operators and members of the Tepa Abotoase community. Lake Guards also provide passengers who are travelling by boats on the Lake with life jackets.
In response to the needs of the oil & gas find, the Regional Maritime University undertook the provision of training facilities for the training of students to meet the essential capacity required for the industry.
Following Cabinet decision for Government to take over the 60% share of the PSC Tema Shipyard & Drydock, the Government of Malaysia has agreed for the Malaysian shares to be taken over by Ghana.
In this regard, the Government is negotiating with the Malaysian partners to take over their 60% shares in the company to revamp it to play its expected role in the maritime industry.
As you are aware, the railway system in the country has completely broken down except some minimal operations for the haulage of manganese on the Western Railway Line and sub-urban passenger services on the Accra-Nsawam and the Accra-Tema Railway Lines.
Due to the high patronage on the Accra-Tema Railway Line, Government is currently extending the line from Tema Port to Community 1 in Tema to increase benefits to commuters between Accra and Tema. This line is about 90% completed. It is expected to be operational by the first quarter of next year.
As part of Government’s effort to revamp the railway sub-sector, the Ghana Railway Act passed in December, 2008 has established the Ghana Railway Development Authority as the regulator and responsible Authority for the development and management of railway fixed assets.
The Ghana Railway Development Authority as part of their functions has engaged a Consultant to develop a Railway Master Plan for the development of railway systems in the country.
Under an Indian credit facility, Letters of Credit (LCs) have been established for the Ghana Railway Company Ltd. to take delivery of wagons, spare parts and track materials to address problems of old rolling stock and track infrastructure to improve their services.
Parliament has approved a facility from the CDB for the rehabilitation of the Western Railway Line. In this regard, GRDA has initiated the process to engage Consultants to design and supervise the construction of the Western Railway Line.
Road Transport Services sub-sector
This year, a series of road safety education and publicity programmes and activities in the Electronic and Print Media have been extensively deployed together with outreach programmes at lorry stations, churches and mosques. I personally participated in an outreach programme at Kejetia in Kumasi and Neoplan Station in Accra. I also joined the NRSC to engage the “Champions in the road transport industry” including Ghana Automobile Dealers, Association of Road Contractors, Oil Marketing Companies, Association of Driving Schools and Development Partners.
The National Road Safety Commission has also developed guidelines for mainstreaming road safety into the development agenda of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
In the coming days, and as we approach Christmas, apart from intensifying road safety education and publicity, the Ministry has issued a directive that require commercial transport operators to institute quality control measures in their operations, including conducting pre-departure checks at their stations. The Ministry launched a pre-departure checklist including: Driver’s appearance, Driver License validity, Vehicle Documents validity, General body condition of vehicle, Wind shield, Wiper, Lights, Brakes, Tools & Accessories etc. to back the exercise and has tasked the National Road Safety Commission and the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority to supervise the implementation.
Again, this year, the National Road Safety Commission launched Road Safety Text Books and Teaching Manuals as part of efforts to make road safety as a taught lesson in the academic curriculum of Primary and Junior High Schools.
The National Road Safety Commission organized the 2nd edition of the National Road Safety Awards this year. The Awards, which focused on transport unions and organizations has been instituted to help raise the profile of transport organizations as an important stakeholder in the road safety sub-sector.
For the first time too, a Miss Road Safety Beauty Queen has been crowned with responsibility to advocate for best road safety practices targeting the youth who make up a challenging constituency in terms of road crash fatalities.
420,000 posters, stickers and leaflets have been produced and distributed for publicity and road safety campaigns.
Despite the efforts by the Ministry and its road safety agencies, the death toll continues to rise.
Provisional records on road traffic crashes and casualties for 2011 indicate that from January – September, over 10,000 road traffic crashes were recorded in the country involving almost 14,400 vehicles. These crashes resulted in the death of 1,679 persons and 9,980 persons injured. Compared to the same period in 2010, road traffic crashes increased marginally by 0.44% but significantly by close to 26% in persons killed and 14% for persons injured.
Records also indicate that, the increases in fatalities and injuries are attributable to the series of crashes involving high occupancy commercial passenger buses. Most of the crashes were head-on collisions in which high speeds, fatigue and wrongful overtaking were identified as the contributory factors.
Investigations conducted by the National Road Safety Commission on the crashes revealed that the crashes could have been avoided if the transport operators involved had put in place internal quality control measures within their operations to safeguard their drivers and vehicles.
The DVLA also continues to introduce measures to improve driver and vehicle licensing so as to enhance road safety.
In this regard, four (4) private vehicle test stations started operation in June, 2011 on pilot basis, to conduct equipment-based testing for vehicles. This is to complement DVLA’s role in offering services to the public leading to efficiency in the inspection and testing of vehicles. This has created direct employment for 70 skilled personnel.
The DVLA has enhanced the condition for the setting up of driving schools in the country by:
• Developing syllabi for a Learner Drivers Guide for driving schools
• Developing a Teaching Manual for driving schools
• Inspecting and advising the driving schools
• Teaming up with national vocational institutes to train drivers for driving schools
As part of the Authority’s effort to decentralize its activities, it opened a District office at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo region, upgraded the Techiman office to register vehicles in addition to other services, and new offices constructed in Mampong in the Ashanti Region for efficient service delivery. The Authority has also moved into a head quarters building in Accra to decongest and separate its operations from the Accra Regional Office.
Furthermore, DVLA and MTTU commenced road side vehicle checks with mobile test equipment to ensure safety on our roads and get rid of non-roadworthy vehicles.
As part of its efforts to educate the public on DVLA activities, the Authority launched SMS services which provide its stakeholders with details of their driver licenses renewal dates, procedures for obtaining new driver licenses, registering of new vehicles and many more. These information can be accessed by texting “DVLA” to short code1470 on all networks. The Authority has also produced and distributed a pre-trip checklist for drivers to promote road safety.
The GTTC in collaboration with NRSC and DVLA has set up a Drivers’ Academy to train drivers to enhance road safety.
As a result, the Academy has trained about 600 staff from corporate organizations, professional drivers amongst others.
Government continues to compliment the efforts of the private sector in the provision of public transport.
In this regard, through the support of Government, MMT has taken delivery of 75 VDL Jonckheere buses and is expecting another 25 by the end of this month.
As a result of the additional buses, 20 new routes have been added to the existing network giving access to new communities. Among these are:
• Samreboi, Kete-Krachi, Mehame, Nsawra Akotombra, Sankore and Dambai.
In addition to this, I want to place on record that for the first time in the history of MMT, the company has utilised its own resources to procure 150 buses at a cost of US$11million and will take delivery of these buses in the first quarter of next year.
As part of its social services, MMT maintained fares for four and half months despite the fuel price increases in January, 2011. This measure helped in cushioning the populace.
A special bus service has also been introduced to address the transportation needs of public servants in the Ministry enclave after work.
The company is also undertaking new infrastructural developments such as new Office Buildings, Workshops and Terminals which are under construction in the following cities: Ho, Bolgatanga, Tarkwa, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Techiman and Tamale.
Studies have shown that women are more careful drivers and therefore the MMT has engaged the first batch of 24 female drivers and so far have had good safety records. To this end, 29 new female trainees will complete their driving lessons and guidance by the end of 2011 to increase the number of female drivers and this will continue.
MMT continued to intensify its own internal road safety measures through the provision of speed limiters and warning alarms (80km/h), vehicle tracking systems (VTS), driver retraining, and a call centre for feedback from the travelling public on their grievances including over speeding. This can be reported on this number: 0302-942299.
The ailing ISTC is now showing signs of recovery. As a short-term measure, the company has entered into a business arrangment with J. A. Plant Pool Ltd. to provide buses under a hire purchase arrangement which is the first of its kind to any business company.
The first batch of ten (10) buses was handed over to the company in July 2011. This brought some normality to the company’s operation and public confidence is gradually being restored.
As a result of the prudent handling of this financial arrangement, J. A. Plant Pool has supplied additional 20 buses which the company took delivery of in November, 2011. This has enabled the company to restore services to some of the closed down routes.
In the long run, Government will take a decision as to the involvement of the private sector in the management and operations of the company.
To ease pressures on our urban transporation, Government is undertaking two projects. The first is the introduction of a pilot Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Scheme from Kasoa to the central business district, for which infrastructural works are already well advanced.
Secondly, Govenment has released GH¢450,000 to undertake a feasibility study to introduce an urban tram system in the city of Accra to address the congestion problem.
KEY CHALLENGES OF THE SECTOR
Despite interventions by Government and its Agencies, the Transport Sector faces many challenges. The key among these challenges is financing for infrastructure development and services.
The consistent growth in the economy has put a lot of pressure on the infrastructure which needs expansion. The oil find has created an urgent demand for new port facilities and services. For example, draft limitations at Tema and Takoradi Ports, space, as well as handling equipment to meet the internal demand as well as effectively compete with other Ports in the sub-region.
Similarly, facilities at the airports and the railway networks require modernization and expansion but the lack of funding has impeded the development of the infrastructure.
To meet these challenges, Government has taken initiatives in seeking funding from the World Bank and other donor partners for the development of the infrastructure. The Transport Sector will also benefit from the recently approved CDB credit facility to undertake projects in the Ports, Railways and the Volta Lake.
In addition, Cabinet has also approved a PPP Framework that should guide the industry for private sector investments in infrastructure and services.
The next challenge of the sector is inadequate Regulations. Unfortunately, we see the result of poor standards on our roads everyday. Poorly maintained vehicles and inadequate trained drivers and its attendant problems combine to cause increasing carnage on our roads.
To address these problems, the passage of the revised Road Traffic Regulations in 2012 will provide adequate authority to the law enforcement agencies to demand compliance as well as prosecute offenders. This is expected to bring sanity and will ensure safety on our roads.
Unlike the road, the aviation and maritime industries are guided by international institutions such as ICAO and IMO which demand strict compliance to international standards and regulations. However, inland water regulations are lacking in our statutes and there is therefore the need to finalize these regulations to guide operations on our inland waterways especially the Volta Lake.
Fortunately, the Ministry has secured World Bank financing to help GMA develop comprehensive regulations for inland water transport and develop its capacity to enforce standards more effectively. GMA is also developing standards for modern boat building on the Volta Lake. Similarly, funds have been secured for the GRDA to develop comprehensive railway regulations for the industry.
Other challenges faced by the sector includes lack of titles to lands and encroachments. The worst affected sub-sectors are the railways and the airports. The lack of land title becomes a major constraint for development for two (2) main reasons:
i. It hinders investments by the private sector since such legal titles are required by the investors before they commit their funds. Investors and financiers are less likely to invest in projects for which there are doubts over land ownership therefore reducing the attractiveness and bankability of development opportunities in these sectors.
ii. It becomes difficult for the agencies to legally challenge encroachments on their lands.
The Ministry of Transport will engage the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources to address these problems.
WAYFORWARD FOR 2012 AND BEYOND
The Ministry and its agencies have outlined, the following key measures, as a way forward to improve the performance of the sector.
GACL will continue with the KIA Phase III rehabilitation project. The project will continue with the reconstruction of the Taxiway, rehabilitation of the main passenger apron, rehabilitation and extension of the fuel mains, the provision of Aeronautical Ground Lighting System and the expansion & refurbishment of the KIA Terminal building including the installation of aerobridges. These improvements are to facilitate passenger movements in the terminal as well as aircraft movement on the airside.
As part of Government’s programme, financial arrangements for the Tamale airport will be finalized and the design and construction of the airport will commence. The project will expand and upgrade the airport into an international status to serve as an alternate to KIA. It would also operate as a hub for sub-regional flights thereby easing pressure and congestion at KIA. The development of Tamale airport would enhance efficiency in the handling of future Hajj operations as the region is characterized by large Muslim population which performs the annual Hajj. The region, and for that matter, the Northern belt also has high agro-based industrial potential, great historic heritage & cultural sites which require an efficient air transport system to boost agriculture and tourism and also serve as a stimulus to the Sahara Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) project.
Furthermore, under the 2012 budget, Government has provided GH¢10million to undertake rehabilitation works on the Kumasi and Sunyani runways. The rehabilitation works are necessary because of the present level of deterioration and the increase in traffic, particularly, at the Kumasi airport with the introduction of new and heavy aircraft.
To enhance the landside activities at the KIA, the following projects have been planned to take-off in 2012 under public-private partnership arrangements:
• Airport Business Centre
• New Office Block for Freight Forwarders
• New Airline Office Complex
• Warehousing facilities
• Maintenance, Repair and Operate (MRO) services
• Multi-storey Car Parks
In anticipation of the future growth in traffic at the KIA, the Ministry, through the Ghana Airports Company Ltd., will continue to process the on-going acquisition of land at Prampram which has been captured in the land-use development plan of the Damgbe-West District to develop a new international airport in the future.
Rigorous measures to regain Ghana’s FAA Category One status will continue in preparation for an FAA Audit in 2012 that will lead to the restoration of the FAA Category One status.
The Ghana Civil Aviation Academy will be expanded to provide enhanced and modern training for aviation personnel to build local capacity for the industry in Ghana and the sub-region.
Maritime and Inland Waterway sub-sectors
The Ministry will focus on infrastructure development to meet the growth and demand in the sub-sector. In this regard, the GPHA will:
• Complete the detailed design and commence construction of Phase 1 of the Takoradi Port Expansion Project to meet the needs of the increasing number of supply/support vessels in the Port of Takoradi
• Undertake expansion work of the ABS Fishing Harbour at Sekondi Takoradi
• Completion of expansion works at the Tema Fishing Harbour
• Acquire additional cargo handling equipment, pilot/patrol boats, mooring launch and tug boats for the Ports of Takoradi and Tema
Designs have been completed and works on the rehabilitation of Fish Landing sites at the following locations will commence under the CDB credit facility: Tapa Abotase, Dzemeni, James Town, Teshie, Axim Dixcove, Elmina, Mumford, Moree, Gomoa Fete, Senya Beraku and Winneba.
In respect of regulation of the Maritime industry, the GMA will finanlise an Inland Water Regulation by the end of 2012 to regulate:
• Boat construction standards
• Boat operation standards and guidelines
• The Authority will also engage Consultants to undertake feasibility studies to identify Landing Sites and chart navigational fairway to improve safety of travelers on the Volta Lake and develop a Master Plan for Inland Water development in the country
In respect of the development of the Volta Lake, the VLTC will pursue the Volta Lake Development Project under the CDB credit facility with the Expansion of the Akosombo & Buipe Terminals as well as the Procurement of Ferries and Pontoons and also the provision of Landing Sites at various locations along the Lake.
In addition, the company will engage a strategic investor to partner the company in providing efficient transportation services to communities along the Volta Lake.
Messrs Zoil Services Ltd., who is undertaking the Volta Lake Enhancement Project, is proposing to increase the number of Life Guards from the current 2,300 to 8,400. This will enable the workers to extend their operations to all the 739 communities bordering the Volta Lake. There will be enough Life Guards to join the passengers on their journeys and ensure that they wear life jackets until they reach their destinations.
In the case of the shipping services, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority will:
• Intensify the search for a strategic investor to undertake the Boankra Inland port project. The authority would also explore the alternative of individual investors to develop the various components of the project.
• Continue the construction of the Accra Shippers, Centre and the development of warehouses at the Takoradi Logistics Platform.
In the case of Maritime education, the University would continue to develop appropriate curricula that meet the needs of the people to enhance their skills and make them marketable on the International Maritime labour market.
With respect to the PSC Tema Shipyard and Dry Dock Company, the GPHA will buy off the 60% share value of the company and manage it until Government takes a decision on the partnership with the private sector.
In line with GRDA’s objective to promote the development of railway infrastructure and services in Ghana, the Authority will pursue the following:
• Completion of the Railway Master Plan for the country
• The construction of the Western Railway Line under the CDB credit facility
• Completion of the rail extension from Tema Port to Tema Community One including renovation of the station buildings along the Accra – Tema
• Rehabilitation of the existing sub-urban railway lines at:
i. Takoradi – Kojokrom – Sekondi
ii. Ejisu – Kumasi
iii. Accra – Nsawam
• Feasibility study of the Eastern Railway Line and source funding for its rehabilitation.
Road Transport Services Sub-Sector
The revised Road Traffic Regulations will be passed by Parliament. The new provisions of the regulations include:
i. Enforcement of the use of seatbelt
ii. Removal of disabled vehicles on the roads through a private sector led commercial towing services
iii. Prohibition of use of mobile phones whilst driving
In addition, the DVLA will launch its automation services which will allow the public to apply for DVLA services online. This will enhance the Authority’s efficiency and decongest the premises of the DVLA.
Also, nine (9) more private investors who have been authorised would start construction of vehicle testing stations to complement DVLA’s role of vehicle testing and inspection to enhance efficiency.
Again, DVLA will reform the Driver license administration through the Computer Adaptive Testing.
In order to increase the intake of students and enhace teaching and learning in a conducive environment, GTTC will construct a 4-storey 8 classroom block with conference hall and offices with funds provided by a World Bank credit facility under the Transport Sector Project at a cost of US$1.2million.
In addition, funds have been secured to procure mechanical tools and equipment to enhance teaching and learning in the institution.
Furthermore, the GTTC will develop curricula to run an academic programme in Driver Training. This will entail passing all prospective training through all trade related fields such as Auto mechanic, Auto Body, Auto Electricals before specializing in the Driver Training.
As you are aware, 2011 – 2020 has been declared as a Decade of Action for Road Safety by the United Nations. In achieving the aspirations of this declaration, the National Road Safety has developed a third National Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan to reduce road traffic crash fatalities by 50% by 2020. As part of the implementation of the strategy, measures such as the following are expected to be in place soon to enhance road safety in the country:
a. Operation of Speed Cameras and installation of Speed Limiters in commercial vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight of 3.5 tonnes and above as part of the speed management strategy.
b. Teaching of road safety education in the formal academic curriculum of basic schools.
c. Mandatory upgrading and refresher training for commercial vehicle drivers
d. Review of NRSC Act, Act 567, 1999 to strengthen its capacity in road safety management in the country
e. Distribution of Teaching Materials to the Ministry of Education for incorporation in the school curricula. This is expected to begin next year. This will provide skills and knowledge to school children under age 16 as to the safe use of the road.
The NRSC is collaborating with the MTTU and a private company (Road Safety Management Services Ltd.) to provide nation-wide, professional and sustainable towing services to remove disabled vehicles from the highways which contribute more than 20% of road traffic crashes in the country.
Other services will include the provision of rest stops, vehicle servicing centres and emergency response services to enhance road safety in the country.
With respect to mass transportation, MMT will continue to provide public mass transport by extending its services to more Districts and rural communities with the delivery of the 150 buses. It will also put up terminal facilities at key areas such as Kaneshie (Accra), Techiman, Aflao and Kasoa to improve efficiency.
MMT continues to offer direct and indirect employment to the populace. With the expected 150 buses by the end of the first quarter of next year, 400 more people are expected to be engaged.
The ISTC will continue to acquire more buses through hire purchase arrangements to increase the company’s fleet. It is expected that the company will be back on its feet and re-open the currently suspended routes.
The company hopes to expand further by opening new international routes to Lagos with the acquisition of more buses to enhance its revenue base.
With regards to urban transportation, the BRT project will be completed by the end of 2012 for bus operations to commence on the pilot corridor. Work will also proceed on the feasibility study to develop an urban tram system in Greater Accra.
Government also recognizes the important role played by the private transport operators with respect to public transport and therefore will continue to assist the transport operators to acquire new buses to augment their fleet.
In this regard, Government is concluding arrangements under a Brazilian credit facility to obtain buses for the private transport operators.
I have tried within this period to give you some insight into the sector’s activities. Even though not exhaustive, I hope I have set the tone for interaction with the audience and that any gaps that I have left may be filled during question time.
I thank you for your attention.