War of words have escalated between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over who should take the glory for the newly refurbished Kotoka International Airport (KIA Terminal 3).
The Airports Council International (ACI)- the only worldwide professional association of airport operators, this year has given KIA an award as the best airport in West Africa and the 4th in Africa. In 2018, KIA was awarded best in West Africa and 6th in Africa.
However, President Akufo Addo has sparked a massive controversy when he claimed the results his government’s strong policies was responsible for the awards. “…as a result of strong policy initiatives by the government…ACI ranked the Kotoka International Airport as the best in West Africa and 6th in Africa in the lst quarter of 2018. The Airport has been ranked again 1st in West Africa and 4th in Africa, in the first quarter of 2019,” he said.
This opposition NDC thinks this statement was a coy attempt by the President to usurp the glory that the new airport has brought to Ghana after his party and officials have strongly criticised it.
The new airport was constructed under the John Dramani Mahama administration of the NDC and had been hailed as one of the most modern airports in the sub-region. However, the NPP accused the NDC of inflating the almost US$ 300 million cost of the contract to construct the new terminal used as the international wing of the airport.
Indeed, as at October 2018 when the newly constructed airport received its first awards from the ACI, the NPP government had refused to commission it due to what they explained as defects in the structure of the airport.
Early October 2018, the NDC Minority in Parliament questioned the Akufo Addo administration for its decision to indefinitely postpone the official commissioning of the new airport terminal.
The commissioning had been postponed after heavy rainfall in Accra that reportedly flooded the airport. The President promptly called off the commissioning to an indefinite date.
However, the Ghana Airport Company denied that the said flood was as serious as it was speculated
A few days ago, the Aviation Minister, Kofi Adda claimed when the NPP administration took over, it detected about 513 defects in the structure of the new terminal.
“Of course, the initiative is commendable. As to whether the implementation was right is also another thing,” the Minister said on Starr FM.
“As of the time we took over, we detected over 500 defects on the Terminal 3. In fact, at the last count, we had 513 defects, and these are things we are still working to fix.”
Meanwhile, the NDC insists that there was nothing wrong with the new terminal and that the antics of the NPP was due to the fact that they did not want the NDC to take the glory of the airport’s construction.