Vice President of one of Africa’s most respected think-tanks, IMANI Ghana, Mr. Kofi Bentil, has shot down Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s recent promise to build an Airport in Cape-Coast, the Central regional capital, saying anybody proposing an airport has “lost it”.
According to him, anybody thinking of building an airport in Ghana’s former capital, when roads leading to the town have not been dualized, which will be cheaper to do should reassess themselves.
“I come from Cape Coast. An Airport in Cape Coast is a patently bad idea and anyone suggesting that has totally lost it. You want to fly planes for the rich 1% when you have a dangerous road claiming lives every year,” Bentil fired Dr. Bawumia.
“You won’t simply dualise the road and then put rail beside it for the masses!!! What thinking makes you leave that and rather build an airport?” Mr. Bentil asked rhetorically.
He pointed out that if Cape-coast roads were dualized and complemented with rails, the 99% of the people who form the masses will be served. Besides, he said, a better road would also make travel sense to even the 1% rich folks.
“If cape coast road was dualised and straightened. It would be safe to drive there within 45 minutes in an average car. To fly to Cape Coast from Accra would cost you, 30 minutes to the airport, 1 hour at the airport checking in and boarding. 15 minutes of flight plus, 30 minutes to get your luggage and leave the airport. It will be faster to just drive.”
Mr. Kofi Bentil’s take is coming after Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia went to promise the people of Cape Coast at a recent meeting that if the Akufo-Addo government is maintained in office, it will build a harbour and an airport for Cape-Coast.
“For the people of Cape Coast, I have good news for you, we are building a new harbour in Cape Coast and a new airport in Cape Coast. It is very critical that we do that,” he announced.
“An airport makes a lot of sense in Cape Coast. It is a real tourist hub and between Greater Accra and Kumasi, you have a triangle that really is a hub for economic activities, you can build railway lines between them and it’s a major growth pole if we put an airport here to drive infrastructural growth,” he added.
Interestingly, there already is an airport in Accra, which due to the bad Accra – Cape-Coast road, it takes two hours to drive to. There is also an airport in Takoradi, which is about one and a half hours drive from Cape Coast.
The idea of an airport had never been part of the outlook of the NPP until recently, some youth in Cape Coast demonstrated for an airport, chanting, “No airport, no vote.” A vintage Dr. Bawumia who had initially said the demand was not really on government’s cards, soon returned to Cape Coast bearing the promise to build them an airport if his party is voted for again.
The surprise came as a surprise to many of the people in Cape Coast.