Deputy Minister for Aviation, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has said the removal of the 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic air fares has significantly increased passenger boarding by 23.6 percent.
He said as a result of that policy intervention, the passenger throughput has increased from 163,322 as at May, 2016 to 201,851 at the end of May this year.
Mr. Darko-Mensah noted that with the ongoing expansion at the KIA (Terminal 3 Project), it is projected that the annual passenger throughput will increase from 2.3 million to 5 million in the next 5 years.
He added that in 2016, the country recorded a total passenger throughput of 2,381,789 which was made up of 1,746,521 international arrivals and departing passengers, 213,232 transit passengers and 421,986 domestic passengers.
“This is ample evidence that the aviation sector has the potential to grow bigger and achieve our aviation hub goal.”
He said this at a three day Ghana Transport and Logistics Conference in Accra put together by Ridmut Consult.
The Minister noted that his outfit together with its agencies are pursuing some priority projects and programmes to promote growth in the aviation sector.
These projects include the decoupling of aviation regulation from air navigation services provision, construction of a modern Air Navigation Services (ANS) Centre at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), completion of the Terminal 3 project at the KIA by 2018, completion of the Ho Airport by 2017, construction of phase II of the Kumasi airport consisting of the extension of the run-way and a new terminal building and construction of phase II of the Tamale airport project consisting of a terminal building including a Hajj terminal.
Robert Kwabena Opoku Kyea, who deputized for the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, said Ghana cannot effectively compete in the global market for transport and logistics, particularly shipping, if efforts are not made to ensure that the country achieves competitiveness in supply chain operations.
He said the government through the Ministries of Transport, Aviation, Railways, Trade and Industry are putting in place measures that will change the fortunes of the transport and logistics sector and bring the cost of doing business down.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Sylvia Asana Owu indicated that the challenges facing the country’s transport and logistics sector are enormous and that it require the collective effort of all stakeholders and players to overcome them.
She named the challenges to include poor quality transport services, inappropriate transport modal split and connectivity, non-integration of transport systems, inadequate human resources capacity, among others.
Source: Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor